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Author: Cuvier, 1829

Hoplostethus mediterraneus Cuvier, 1829

Diagnosis: head large, 37-43% of SL; eye large, about 2.5-3 in head; spines on post-temporal and preopercle, the latter rather strong. Colour: pale pink, flanks blackish-silvery, rose-coloured above lateral line, edges on head brighter red. Size: specimens in Madeiran waters usually about 20 cm SL; Poll reported 29 cm from coast of West Africa.

Habitat: young specimens from 4 to 17 cm SL have been dredged in about 150-500 m depth off the northern coast of west Africa and Portugal. Madeiran specimens are taken on hooks at several hundred metres depth off the coast but it is not known whether near the bottom or not. Food: in some specimens fragments of crustaceans have been found. Reproduction: near the Atlantic coast of Morocco, seventeen specimens measuring 17-34 mm SL have been taken and a 19 mm specimen from near the Bahamas has been referred to as H. mediterraneus, but there are no firm data on reproduction.

Distribution: from Madeira, the Atlantic coast of Morocco, from Portugal, north to Ireland, also Mediterranean. Elsewhere, abundant in the western North Atlantic.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). Schmidt, 1968: 24, fig. 55.

Rosy soldier fish (Hoplostethus mediterraneus)