Dicentrarchus labrax  (Linnaeus, 1758)

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Moronidae (Temperate basses)
Etymology: Dicentrarchus: Greek, di = two + Greek, kentron = sting + Greek, archos = anus (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; oceanodromous; depth range 10 - 100 m (Ref. 9987).   Subtropical; 8°C - 24°C (Ref. 4944); 72°N - 11°N, 19°W - 42°E (Ref. 54221)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 32.3, range 23 - 46 cm
Max length : 103 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6916); max. published weight: 12.0 kg (Ref. 1468); max. reported age: 30 years (Ref. 59043)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 8 - 10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-13; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 10 - 12. Posterior edge of opercle finely serrated, lower edge with strong forward- directed denticles. 2 flat opercular spines. Mouth moderately protractile. Young with some dark spots on upper part of body. Head with cycloid scales above. Vomerine teeth only anteriorly, in a crescentic band.

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

Eastern Atlantic: Norway to Morocco, the Canary Islands and Senegal. Also known from the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Absent from White, Barents, Baltic and Caspian Seas (Ref. 59043).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults manifest demersal behavior, inhabit coastal waters down to about 100m depth but more common in shallow waters (Ref. 54221). They are found in the littoral zone on various kinds of bottoms on estuaries, lagoons and occasionally rivers. They enter coastal waters and river mouths in summer, but migrate offshore in colder weather and occur in deep water during winter in the northern range. Young fish form school, but adults appear to be less gregarious (Ref. 9987). Feed chiefly on shrimps and mollusks, also on fishes (Ref. 5990). Juveniles feed on invertebrates, taking increasingly more fish with age. Adults piscivorous . (Ref. 59043). Spawn in batches (Ref. 51846). Spawning takes place in the spring near the British Isles, and earlier in its southern range. Eggs are pelagic (Ref. 35388). Marketed fresh or smoked (Ref. 9987). Highly sought by sport fishermen (Ref. 30578). The North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee (NESFC) sea bass fishery has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (http://www.msc.org/) as well-managed and sustainable (http://www.msc.org/html/content_1432.htm).

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

Spawn in groups. Eggs are pelagic. In the Mediterranean, first sexual maturity occurs generally between 2 and 4 years of age while in the Atlantic sexual maturity happens a little later (males between 4-7 years and females between 5-8 years). Spawning happens just once a year and it tends to be in winter, although in southern areas it can occur in spring. Eggs have 1-2 fat drops that fuse about 12 hours after laying. Embryo development lasts about three days at 13-14°C and larval development about 40 days at 19°C. Egg size 1.1-1.5 mm, larval length at hatching 3 mm.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Heemstra, Phillip C. | Collaborators

Smith, C.L., 1990. Moronidae. p. 692-694. 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. 6916)

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) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7656   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00891 (0.00725 - 0.01096), b=3.05 (2.99 - 3.11), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.5   ±0.50 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.06-0.33; tm=2-8; tmax=30; Fec=230,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (49 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.