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Author: (Valenciennes, 1830)

Pagrus coeruleostictus (Valenciennes, 1830)

Diagnosis: body oblong, rather deep. Preopercle scaleless or with some fine, irregularly set 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 13 lower, 6 7 upper. D XlXll + 9-11; A 111 + 8 9; first two dorsal spines extremely short, third to fifth the longest, filamentous in young; first pelvic ray filamentous. Lateral line scales 51-54 to caudal base. Colour: silvery pink with dark blue spots on back and sides; a dark patch at base of last dorsal rays, overlapping the scaly sheath and fainter with age; caudal fin pinkish, black-edged on the fork; other fins bluish or pinkish, old specimens with numerous irregular dark blotches on head and back. Size: to 90 cm SL, usually 30-50 cm.

Habitat: inshore waters; demersal on hard bottoms to 200 m; more abundant between 50 and 100 m, young closer to the coast. Food: carnivorous (mostly bivalve molluscs, crustaceans, fish). Reproduction: intermittent between spring and autumn over soft bottoms in shallow waters; maturity at 2 years (about 20 cm); hermaphroditic protogynous.

Distribution: warmer parts of the Mediterranean, absent in Black Sea; Atlantic from Portugal to Angola, Canaries.

Blue-spotted sea bream (Pagrus coeruleostictus)