Black bream (spondyliosoma cantharus)
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Common name Black bream
Scientific name Spondyliosoma cantharus
Class Osteichthyes
Order Perciformes
Family Sparidae
Distribution The Mediterranean, the Black Sea (not all) and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Scandinavia to Angola.
Habitat rocky or sandy substrates and amidst meadows of Posidonia oceanica from depths of 10 - 15 metres up to 150 m.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of up to 60 cm.
Characteristicts A slight depression over the eyes; various rows of small concise teeth; a dorsal fin that can fold down over their backs; thin golden stripes down the sides.

Black bream have a deep body with long dorsal and anal fins. The dorsal fin can be completely folded down on their back. They have a short nose, a slight depression over the eyes and the mouth curves slightly upwards. The pectoral fins are just as long as the head and the tail fin is slightly forked. Adults are greyish brown becoming silvery grey on the sides with about 15 vertical golden streaks. The dorsal, anal and ventral fins are blackish.

The species is gregarious and at times forms rather conspicuous shoals. Reproduction takes place from February to May and eggs are laid in a furrow made by the male who guards them until they hatch. The black bream is a protogynous hermaphrodite - female first and then becoming a male.