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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Pagrus pagrus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: body oblong, moderately deep. Preopercle scaleless. In front of jaws, 4 upper, 6 lower canine-like teeth; at back, smaller and obtuse canines, becoming molars in the posterior third; the two outer series of molars the strongest; behind anterior canines and molars, numerous minute granular teeth. Gillrakers, 8-10 lower, 6-8 upper. D Xl-Xlll + 9-10; A 111 + 7-8. Lateral line scales 50 56 to caudal base. Colour: silvery pink; head darker from nape to rictus; sometimes minute blue spots on upper sides, especially in young; a dusky area often present at the pectoral axil; caudal fin dark pink, with distal part of lobes white and central margin of fork dark; other fins pinkish. Size: to 75 cm SL usually 30-35 cm.

Habitat: inshore waters on hard or sandy bottoms, young on Posidonia beds, demersal on shelf and continental slope to 250 m, mainly to 100 m; sometimes young enter Atlantic lagoons. Food: carnivorous (mainly crustaceans, molluscs and fish). Reproduction: April-June maturity at about 24 cm; sex ratio 75% (Atlantic) to 93% (Mediterranean) females.

Distribution: Mediterranean, common in warmer waters, rarer in the north; absent in Black Sea; Atlantic from British Isles (records only) to 15° N (rare south of 20° N), Madeira and the Canaries.

Common sea bream (Pagrus pagrus)