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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Aspitrigla cuculus Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: head large, without deep occipital groove. First dorsal fin with 9 or 10 spines, second spine not elongate, first spine serrate anteriorly; second dorsal fin with 17 or 18 soft rays; 16-18 anal finrays; pectoral fin with 11 + 3 free rays. Lateral line scales plate-like, expanded vertically, distance between top of scale and dorsal fin base about 25-50% of total height of scales. Breast and anterior part of belly scaleless. Vertebrae 36-37 (13-14 precaudal and 22-23 caudal). Total gillrakers on first gill arch 7-11. Colour: bright red above, pale below; pelvic fins pink; anal fin with a milky white base; pectoral and dorsal fins yellowish. Size: to 50 cm, usually to 25 cm.

Habitat: benthic on mud, sand, gravel, crags and rocks between 30 and 250 m. Behaviour: locally abundant, probably forms occasional aggregates. Food: benthic crustaceans, other invertebrates and bottomdwelling fishes. Reproduction: spawning in summer (April-August).

Distribution: in the eastern Atlantic from British Isles to Mauritania, north of 15° N, the Azores and Madeira, rare in North Sea; in Mediterranean, southern coasts of Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, rare in 30°N northern and eastern Mediterranean.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Cunningham, 1889: 11, pl. 1 (fig. 45) | Holt, 1893: 31-33, pl. 2 (fig. 8-13); 1899: 23 | Padoa, 1956b: 640.
Otoliths (sagitta). Scott, 1906: 56, pl. I (fig. 53), pl. IV (fig. 15) | Sanz Echeverría, 1929: 286, pl. 13 (fig. 2-3) | Priol, 1932: 227, fig. 3 | Chaine & Duvergier, 1934: 91, Pl. 1.

Red gurnard (Aspitrigla cuculus)