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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Zeus faber Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: body deep, strongly compressed, caudal peduncle as long as deep; head deep, its dorsal profile flat or convex over eye, no serrations on bony ridge above eye; mouth large and very protractile, with small conical teeth in jaws. Pectoral fins short, pelvic fins at least twice as long, with I + 6-7 finrays, the base below hind border of eye, dorsal fin with IX-Xl + 21-25 finrays, the tips of the spinous finrays with long filament; anal fin with III-V (usually IV) + 20-24 finrays. Body covered with very small, rudimentary scales, appearing naked; scutes present along belly, with spines; a row of 5-11 bony bucklers bearing 1-2 spines along bases of dorsal and anal fins. Colour: golden greengrey or silvery bronze, with a large yellow-edged black spot on flank; membranes of spinous anal and pelvic fins black, spinous dorsal fin dark. Size: to 66 cm SL, usually 20-50 cm.

Habitat: near bottom or in midwater, from close inshore down to 400 m or more, mainly at 50-150 m; solitary. Food: a wide range of fishes, especially schooling and demersal species, sometimes alpheid, pandalid and palaemonid crustaceans. Reproduction: commonly June-August (Bay of Biscay, western part of English Channel).

Distribution: Atlantic from Norway to Madeira, also Mediterranean and Black Sea. Elsewhere, south to the Azores and southern Africa (overlaps with Z. capensis), also Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea (if Z. japonicus and Z. australis are not distinct; see Heemstra, 1980).

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Ehrenbaum, 1905: 124 (description only) | Sanzo, in Lo Bianco, 1956: 461, fig. 287-293 | Banarescu, 1964: 633, fig. 274.
Otoliths (sagitta). Frost, 1927: 443, pl. VIII (fig. 8-9) | Stinton, 1967: 4, pl. I (fig. 10), pl. II (fig. 8).

Dory (Zeus faber)