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Author: (Valenciennes, 1843)

Pagrus auriga (Valenciennes, 1843)

Diagnosis: body oblong, deep. Preopercle with some inconspicuous scales. In front of jaws, 4 upper, 6 lower canines, with behind them and at back 2 or 3 rows of teeth, more obtuse, gradually becoming molars; gillrakers 10 11 lower, 6 8 upper. D Xl + 10 12; A 111 + 8-9; first two dorsal spines very short, third to fifth very long and filamentous, especially in young. Lateral line scales 50 52 to caudal base. Colour: silvery pink with 4 or 5 dark red transverse bands alternatively wide and narrow; adults wine pink, bands faint; head dark from nape to rictus; posterior margin of opercle very black; dorsal pink, membranes between filamentous spines blackish; dorsal and anal rays distally orange; pelvics wine red, distally black; caudal greyish, distally pink or orange, black-edged. Size: to 80 cm SL, usually 20-30 cm.

Habitat: inshore waters on hard bottoms to 170 m, young closer to the coast. Food: carnivorous (mostly bivalve molluscs, cephalopods, sometimes crustaceans). Reproduction: end of winter, very few data.

Distribution: recorded throughout Mediterranean, but very rare in the north, absent in Black Sea; Atlantic from Portugal to Angola, Madeira and the Canaries.

Red-banded sea bream (Pagrus auriga)