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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Oblada melanura (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: body elongately ovoid; eye large, its diameter twice suborbital depth; snout short; scales on cheeks, anterior margin of preopercle and opercle. Mouth small; in each jaw an outer series of 8-10 frontal incisors (each slightly notched) followed by lateral small conical teeth; inside both jaws, a band of low granular teeth; gillrakers 20 lower, 12 upper. D XI + 13-14; A III + 12-14. Lateral line scales 64-67 to caudal base. Colour: silvery grey, back darker; fine longitudinal dark lines along rows of scales; on caudal peduncle, large black saddle surrounded by a white ring; all fins light. Size: to 30 cm SL, usually 18-20 cm.

Habitat: Iittoral waters above rocky bottoms and Posidonia beds to 30 m. Gregarious. Food: omnivorous (mostly small invertebrates).
Reproduction: April-June (Mediterranean); gonochoric, some viduals hermaphroditic protogynous.

Distribution: common throughout Mediterranean, very rare in Black Sea; Atlantic, from Bay of Biscay to Angola, Madeira, the Can and Cape Verde Is.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Raffaele, 1888: 25 | Lo Bianco, 1909: 733 | Bounhiol & Pron, 1916: 143 | Ranzi, 1930: 407-416; 1933: 371, fig. 261, pl. 30 (fig. 1-5) | de Gaetani, 1931:1-18, 10 fig. | Thomopoulos, 1956: 8, pl. 2 (fig. 19-21).
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverría, 1926: 154, fig. 49; 1930: 176, fig. 24 | Chaine, 1937: 184, pl. 17.

Saddled bream (Oblada melanura)