Dentex (dentex dentex)
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Common name Dentex
Scientific name Dentex dentex
Class Osteichthyes
Order Perciformes
Family Sparidae
Distribution The Mediterranean, the Black Sea (not all) and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from the British Isles to Senegal.
Habitat coastal waters close to rocky or sand and mud substrates and amidst meadows of Posidonia oceanica (younger examples) at depths ranging between 15 and 50 metres.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of up to 10 cm.
Characteristicts Well-developed sharp teeth; dorsal markings; rounded dorsal profile; typically oblique nose.

Dentex have stocky oval bodies, that are rather high and compressed, with variable colouration. The back tends to be a blue-grey to greenish purple, fading into a pinkish white on the sides and belly. Small bluish spots are to be seen on the back and sides. Juveniles are a pinkish colour that becomes blue as they grow. The dorsal and tail fins are a pinkish-brown, the ventral and anal fins yellowish and the pectoral fins are pink. The head is burly with a streamlined profile when young becoming rounder in adulthood. The large mouth is armed with 4-6 large canine-like teeth on both upper and lower jaws. The pectoral fins are long and pointed and the tail fin has acute lobes.

Juveniles are gregarious while adults are usually solitary or paired. The sexes are usually separate though occasional cases of hermaphroditism have been noted.