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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Capros aper Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: body fairly deep and compressed, its depth more than one and a half times in SL. Eye large, snout as long as eye or longer, head profile concave over eye; mouth very protractile, forming a short tube when protruded. Pectoral fins rounded, pelvic fins set below them, with I + 5 finrays (the branched finrays fairly stout), dorsal fin with IX-X + 23-25 finrays, the spines long and strong, and fin with III + 22-24 finrays, the spines stout and short; third dorsal and first anal spines only a little longer and stronger than the others. Body covered with small, rough (ctenoid) scales. Colour: body deep red, sometimes with yellow bars; much paler and more yellow in fishes from 200 m or shallower. Size: to 16 cm SL, usually 5-13 cm.

Habitat: close to bottom at 40 to more than 600 m, mainly at 100- 400 m over rock or coral, but also trawled over sandy ground in the southern part of its range; occasional irruptions into shallow water; gregarious. Food: crustaceans (copepods, mysid shrimps off south-western Ireland), or worms, molluscs and crustaceans (Mediterranean). Reproduction: June-August (south-western Ireland), spring and summer (Mediterranean).

Distribution: Atlantic, northward to western Scotland, occasionally to the Shetlands, Skagerrak and western Norway, also Mediterranean (mainly western part). Elsewhere, southward to Senegal.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Lo Bianco, 1909: 704 | Sanzo, 1956: 466-470, fig. 294-295, pl. 36 (fig. 1-6) | Arbault & Boutin, 1968: 441-442, fig. 28 (egg only).
Otoliths (sagitta). Vaillant, 1888: 354-355 | Shepherd, l915a: 32, fig. 5 | Frost, 1927a: 443, pl. 8 (fig. 11-13) | Stinton, 1967: 4, pl. 1 (fig. 7a-b, 8a-b), pl. 2 (fig. 6a-b).

Boar-fish (Capros aper)