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Sparus aurata  Linnaeus, 1758

Gilthead seabream
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Image of Sparus aurata (Gilthead seabream)
Sparus aurata
Picture by Pillon, R.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Sparidae (Porgies)
Etymology: Sparus: Latin, sparus = a fish with a golden head (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 1 - 150 m (Ref. 35388), usually 1 - 30 m (Ref. 54890).   Subtropical; 62°N - 15°N, 17°W - 43°E (Ref. 54890)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 33 - 40 cm
Max length : 70.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); common length : 35.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4781); max. published weight: 17.2 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 11 years (Ref. 7253)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-14; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 11 - 12. Body tall, with large black spot on the gill cover. Snout more than twice as long as the eye diameter (Ref. 35388).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic: British Isles, Strait of Gibraltar to Cape Verde and around the Canary Islands; also in the Mediterranean (Ref. 3688). Reported from the Black Sea (Ref. 12781). Reports from New Zealand refer to Pagrus auratus (Foster 1801) (Ref. 5755, 9258).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in seagrass beds and sandy bottoms as well as in the surf zone commonly to depths of about 30 m, but adults may occur to 150 m depth. A sedentary fish, either solitary or in small aggregations. In spring, they often occur in brackish water coastal lagoons and estuaries. Mainly carnivorous, accessorily herbivorous (Ref. 3688). Feed on shellfish, including mussels and oysters. One of the most important fishes in saline and hypersaline aquaculture. Utilized fresh and eaten steamed, pan-fried, broiled, boiled, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9987).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Males become females at about 3 years of age (Ref. 2715, 28504). Protandric hermaphrodite species, maturing first as male (during the first or second year of age) and after the second or third year of age, as female. Spawning happens generally from October to December, with sequenced spawning during the whole period. Incubation lasts about 2 days at 16-1 7°C. Larval stages last about 50 days at 1 7.5°C or about 43 days at 20°C. Egg size 0.9-1.1 mm, larval length at hatching 2.5-3.0 mm.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Bauchot, M.-L. and J.-C. Hureau, 1990. Sparidae. p. 790-812. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 3688)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Aquaculture: production, species profile; fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01259 (0.01109 - 0.01429), b=3.03 (3.00 - 3.06), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.7   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.28; tmax=11; tm=2-3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.