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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Spondyliosoma cantharus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: body ovoid, rather deep; upper profile of head depressed above eye; snout short. Scales on cheek and opercle, preopercle scaleless. In each jaw 4-6 rows of conical and rather slender teeth, the outer enlarged, especially in front of jaw; gillrakers 14-16 lower, 8-9 upper. D Xl + 11 13; A 111 + 9-11. Lateral line scales 66-75 to caudal base. Colour: silvery grey with bluish, greenish and pinkish tints; interorbital space and snout darker; on sides, longitudinal golden lines more or less discontinuous; fins dusky, generally caudal with black margin. Size: to 60 cm SL, usually 20-30 cm.

Habitat: inshore waters on rocky or sandy bottoms and Posidonia beds to 50 m (young) and 300 m (adults). Gregarious, sometimes in large schools. Food: omnivorous (algae, small invertebrates, mainly crustaceans). Reproduction: February-May, eggs laid in sand; hermaphroditic protogynous.

Distributon: all Mediterranean; very rare in Black Sea; Atlantic from Scandinavia to Angola; Madeira, the Canaries and the Cape Verde Is.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Raffaele, 1888: 318 | Ehrenbaum, 1905: 20 | Lo Bianco, 1909: 703 | Williamson, 1911: 15 | Fage, 1918: 46, fig. 33-34 | Ranzi, 1930: 407 416; 1933: 374, pl. 30 (fig. 6-16).
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverría, 1926: 154, fig. 48; 1938: 176, fig. 21-23 | Frost, 1927: 301, pl. 5 (fig. 17) | Chaine, 1937: 175, pl. 16.

Black sea bream (Spondyliosoma cantharus)