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Comprehensive Description

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The Sparidae includes around 100 species of fishes that are often known as porgies. They are deep-bodied, compressed, perchlike fishes with a small mouth located low on the head; the distance between the eye and mouth is noticeably long. The forehead is often steep in profile. There is a fleshy skin flap at the base of the pelvic fins and the caudal fin is usually forked. Porgies usually have canine teeth or incisors, but also have strong molars at the middle and rear of the jaws, including those in a pharyngeal "mill" used to crush and grind shellfish. Most species are plainly colored, silver to reddish or very dark, but some are striped (especially when young) or spotted. Most species are 30 to 60 cm or less in length, but a few reach twice this length; several species may reach 1.2 meters and 70 kg. Porgies are bottom-dwelling fishes of tropical and temperate seas, especially around Africa. A few species occur in cold water and some may enter brackish or fresh water. Many species are important food and sport fishes. In general, porgies are most common in bays and shallow coastal waters and banks where shellfishes are common; some species prefer seagrass beds and others are common around coral reefs. (Eschmeyer and Herald 1983; Robins and Ray 1986)

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Sparidae

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The Sparidae are a family of fish in the order Perciformes, commonly called sea breams and porgies. The sheepshead, scup, and red seabream are species in this family. Most sparids are deep-bodied compressed fish with a small mouth separated by a broad space from the eye, a single dorsal fin with strong spines and soft rays, a short anal fin, long pointed pectoral fins and rather large firmly attached scales.[1] They are found in shallow temperate and tropical waters and are bottom-dwelling carnivores.

There are hermaphrodites in the Sparidae. Protogyny and protandry appear sporadically through this lineage of fish.[2] Simultaneous hermaphrodites and bi-directional hermaphrodites do not appear as much since Sparidae are found in shallower waters.[2] Species of fish that express a hermaphroditic condition usually "lack a genetic hardwire", therefore ecological factors play a role in sex determination.[3]

Most species possess grinding, molar-like teeth.[4] Some of the species, such as Polysteganus undulosus, have been subject to overfishing, or exploitation beyond sustainable recovery.[5]

Genera

The family Sparidae contains about 155 species in 38 genera:

Timeline of genera

Cookery

The most celebrated of the breams in cookery are the gilt-head bream and the common dentex.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F. (2012): Breams , SPARIDAE, in Fishes of Australia http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/family/129
  2. ^ a b de Mitcheson, Yvonne Sadovy; Liu, Min (Fall 2008). "Functional hermaphroditism in teleosts". Fish and Fisheries. 9: 1–43. doi:10.1111/j.1467-2979.2007.00266.x.
  3. ^ Mank, Judith E.; Promislow, Daniel E. L.; Avise, John C. (Winter 2005). "Evolution of alternative sex-determining mechanisms in teleost fish". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 87: 83–93. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2006.00558.x.
  4. ^ Johnson, G.D. & Gill, A.C. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. Eating the head is known to cause hallucinations, lasting many days.
  5. ^ Hogan, C.M. (2010): Overfishing. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment.
  6. ^ Tanaka, F.; Iwatsuki, Y. (2015). "Amamiichthys, a new genus for the sparid fish Cheimerius matsubarai Akazaki 1962, and redescription of the species, with designation of a neotype". Zootaxa. 4007 (2): 195–206. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4007.2.3.
  7. ^ Davidson, A. Mediterranean Seafood, Penguin, 1972. ISBN 0-14-046174-4, pp. 86–108.
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Sparidae: Brief Summary

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The Sparidae are a family of fish in the order Perciformes, commonly called sea breams and porgies. The sheepshead, scup, and red seabream are species in this family. Most sparids are deep-bodied compressed fish with a small mouth separated by a broad space from the eye, a single dorsal fin with strong spines and soft rays, a short anal fin, long pointed pectoral fins and rather large firmly attached scales. They are found in shallow temperate and tropical waters and are bottom-dwelling carnivores.

There are hermaphrodites in the Sparidae. Protogyny and protandry appear sporadically through this lineage of fish. Simultaneous hermaphrodites and bi-directional hermaphrodites do not appear as much since Sparidae are found in shallower waters. Species of fish that express a hermaphroditic condition usually "lack a genetic hardwire", therefore ecological factors play a role in sex determination.

Most species possess grinding, molar-like teeth. Some of the species, such as Polysteganus undulosus, have been subject to overfishing, or exploitation beyond sustainable recovery.

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Description

provided by World Register of Marine Species
Chiefly marine; very rare in fresh- and brackish water. Distribution: tropical and temperate Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Dorsal fin usually having 10-13 spines; soft rays 10-15. Three spines in anal fin; soft rays 8-14. Maxilla hidden by a sheath when mouth is closed. Branchiostegal rays 6. Vertebrae 24 (10 + 14). To about 1.2 m maximum length. Many species have been found to be hermaphroditic; some have male and female gonads simultaneously; others change sex as they get larger. Premier food and game fishes. Many species around southern Africa. A few species have been implicated in cases of ciguatera.
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bibliographic citation
MASDEA (1997).
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