Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Sparidae
Etymology: Sarpa: Spanish, sarpo, sapo = toad; a toad-fish (1753) (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 5 - 70 m (Ref. 3688). Subtropical; 45°N - 40°S, 26°W - 36°E
Eastern Atlantic: Bay of Biscay and Strait of Gibraltar to Sierra Leone, including Madeira, the Canary Islands, and Cape Verde; Congo to South Africa. Also present in the Mediterranean.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 16.5  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 51.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3397); common length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4781)
Found over rocky substrates and sandy area with algal growth. Gregarious, sometimes forming sizeable schools. Young mainly carnivorous on crustaceans, adults almost exclusively herbivorous (Ref. 4781), feed on seaweeds (Ref. 36731). Protandric hermaphrodite (Ref. 4781). Tasty when fresh, but easily softens and is not much esteemed (Ref. 3198).
A monandric species (Ref. 55367). Sex change occurs at 25.0 cm TL and 3.75 years of age (Ref. 55367). Conflicting descriptions of the reproductive style of this species have been reported, including possible gonochorism (Ref. 103751). Also Ref. 28504.
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: occasionally
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 15.3 - 24, mean 18.8 °C (based on 232 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01230 (0.01105 - 0.01369), b=3.03 (3.00 - 3.06), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.0 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tmax=15; tm=2; K=0.20-.027;).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (41 of 100) .