Sea Breams

The Sea Breams (Sparidae) are a family of fishes of the order Perciformes, mostly marine and very rarely from brackish or fresh water. They are distributed along the coastal waters of the tropical and temperate seas of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Smaller species, as well as juveniles of larger species, usually form large schools. In contrast, larger species tend to be less gregarious and to inhabit greater depths.

The body of Sea Breams is more or less oval and is very compressed laterally, presenting a complete lateral line. They have a small, slightly protractile mouth, which is equipped with teeth, which may be shaped like molars or be conical.

The dorsal fin of Sea Breams is unique and continuous, generally formed by 10-13 robust spines followed by 10-15 soft radii. The anal fin has 3 spines and 8-14 spokes, and tends to be rather short in length. The pectoral fins are long and pointed. The pelvic fins, which have 1 spine and 5 spokes, are inserted into the body of the fish in a plane just behind the plane of the pectoral fins. The caudal fin is usually emarginated or forked.

Sea Breams are omnivorous, so among their diet we find both Algae and Crustaceans and Molluscs among others. They belong to the family of Sea Breams, species as well known by all as gilthead bream, breams, pageles, dentex and similar. Many of the species in this family are sequential hermaphrodites with both directions, that is, there are species whose individuals are initially female, and later males, and other species that occur in reverse, first males and later females. The family is composed of 37 genera in which a total of 148 species are included.


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