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Author: (Risso, 1826)

Pagellus acarne (Risso, 1826)

Diagnosis: body fusiform; upper profile of head depressed above eyes; inter-orbital space flat; eye diameter shorter than length of snout. Occipital scales extending forward to between the posterior margin and the middle of eye; gillrakers 13-16 lower, 9-12 upper. D XIIXlll + 10 12; A III + 9-10; the last dorsal and anal ray stronger than the others. Lateral line scales 65-72 to caudal base. Colour: pinkishgrey; head darker, especially inter-orbital space; dark-red mark at the upper pectoral axil overlapping the upper base; fins more or less light pinkish; sometimes paired fins with a darker margin; inside of mouth orange-red. Size: to 36 cm SL, usually 20 25 cm.

Habitat: inshore waters, demersal on various bottoms, mainly sand, muddy-sand and Posidonia beds (young) to 220 m (Mediterranean) and 500 m (Atlantic); more common between 40 and 100 m; young nearer to the coast. Food: omnivorous, mainly carnivorous (benthic invertebrates and fish larvae). Reproduction: intermittent spawning, June-September (western Mediterranean), autumn (eastern parts), March-April and November (Atlantic); hermaphroditic protandrous, inversion of sex at size variable according to hydrological conditions (17 29 cm, 2-7 years); fecundity 85,000 536,000 (21-31 cm); maturity at 1-2 years (13-18 cm).

Distribution: all Mediterranean, less common in Adriatic and eastern Mediterranean; absent in Black Sea; Atlantic, common from Bay of Biscay to Senegal, Madeira, the Canaries and the Cape Verde Is.; rare to the north (British Isles), but recorded off Denmark.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. De Gaetani, 1935: 3-20, 15 fig. | Thomopoulos, 1954: 6, fig. 10-11.
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverría, 1926: 153, fig. 41; 1930: 175, fig. 11-12 | Chaine, 1937: 116, pl. 12.

Spanish bream (Pagellus acarne)