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Author: Valenciennes, in Cuv. Val., 1833

Schedophilus ovalis Valenciennes, in Cuv. Val., 1833

Diagnosis. mouth large, no teeth on the roof of the mouth. Gillrakers on first arch usually 6 + 1 + 16. Single dorsal fin with 6-8 fairly strong spines graduating in length to the 30-32 rays which follow; its origin ahead of pectoral fin base. Musculature firm. Two predorsal bones. Colour: silvery to greenish. Size: to 80 cm SL.

Habitat: deep water at the edge of continental shelves and around oceanic islands; larger specimens near the bottom. Behaviour: young associate with floating jellyfish, including Physalia. Food: Pyrosoma and other tunicates. Adults are caught on hooks baited with fish or squid. A commercial species in many places valued for its good-tasting white meat; probably the biggest fishery is at Madeira. Reproduction: probably a spring spawner. Growth of young is rapid (one of 10 cm doubled its length in 2 months).

Distribution: eastern Atlantic from Spain southward and throughout most of the Mediterranean; also, around the Azores and Madeira. Elsewhere, the Canaries and southward to South Africa, there is a record of a small specimen from Bermuda.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Padoa, 1937: pl. 37 (fig. 9) | Maul, 1964: 93, 97.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Imperial blackfish (Schedophilus ovalis)