Sea Breams

Sea Bream


Seabream or porgies are members of the Sparidae family of carnivorous bony fishes. Porgies are carnivores of hard-shelled benthic (bottom dwelling) some have male and female gonads simultaneously. Others change gender as they get larger.

The structure of the fins of Porgies is essentially the same as in the family Serranidae of seabasses with which they can be confused. There are important anatomical differences, however, most obvious of which are that the edge of the gill cover does not end with a sharp spine in the porgies but is rounded or at most bluntly angular; and that the maxillary bone (the bone forming the margin of the upper jaw) is sheathed and hidden when the mouth is closed. Long, pointed pectoral fins (found on each side of the body behind the gill opening) are likewise characteristic of the family; the spiny and soft portions of the dorsal (back) fin are continuous, and the soft-rayed anal fin is about as long as the soft part of the dorsal.

There are many species of seabream to be found in the region, including the common seabream (Pagrus pagrus). This fish grows to 91cm and is pinkish silver with an indistinct yellow spot on each scale on the upper half of body. This spotting gives a yellow-striped effect and there is some yellow colouration on the snout and upper lip. The dorsal, caudal (tail) and pectoral fins are pink.

Some of the species that you may encounter underwater are listed below, with the list showing their maximum adult size. When you are surveying and recording seabream, it is helpful if you can record the particular species:

  • Bogue Boops boops 36cm
  • Angola Dentex Dentex angolensis 37cm
  • Canary Dentex Dentex canariensis 100cm
  • Pink Dentex Dentex gibbosus 106cm
  • Large-eye Dentex Dentex macrophthalmus 65cm
  • Morocco Dentex Dentex maroccanus 45cm
  • Annular Seabream Diplodus annularis 24cm
  • Senegal Seabream Diplodus bellottii 30cm
  • Zebra Seabream Diplodus cervinus cervinus 55cm
  • Sharp Snout Seabream Diplodus puntazzo 60cm
  • Moroccan White Seabream Diplodus sargus cadenati 45cm
  • White Seabream Diplodus sargus sargus 45cm
  • Common Two-banded Seabream Diplodus vulgaris 45cm
  • Saddled Seabream Oblada melanura 34cm
  • Axillary Seabream Pagellus acarne 36cm
  • Red Pandora Pagellus bellottii bellottii 36cm
  • Blackspot Seabream Pagellus bogaraveo 70cm
  • Common Pandora Pagellus erythrinus 70cm
  • Redbanded Seabream Pagrus auriga 80cm
  • Bluespotted Seabream Pagrus caeruleostictus 90cm
  • Common Seabream Pagrus pagrus 91cm
  • Salema Sarpa salpa 51cm
  • Gilthead Seabream Sparus auratus 60cm