Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Osteichthyes
Order Perciformes
Family Sparidae
Genus Sparus
Species aurata
Classification Linnaeus, 1758
Common name gilthead seabream
Size up to 70 centimeters
Male weight 5 - 6 kilograms
Female weight 5 - 6 kilograms

Geographic Range eastern Atlantic, British Isles, from the straits of Gibraltar up to Cape Verde, around the Canary Islands, Mediterranean.
Physical Characteristics oval, high body, compressed on the flanks. Rather protruding jaw compared to the mandible. Strong teeth suitable to break sea-shells and the shells of crustaceans. Pectoral fins are long, the abdominal ones are much shorter. The caudal fin is divided into two lobes, with grey-green shades. The body is grey with light blue-golden glints on the back and silver glints on the flanks. The gilthead seabream can be recognised by a more or less visible red spot between eyes.
Behaviour sedentary fish, it lives alone or in small groups. It tolerates level of salinity ranging from 20 to 45‰ and that is why it may move to lagoons and estuaries to find food in spring. In winter it takes shelter to reproduce in the deepest layers of the sea in order to avoid low temperatures, which it cannot bear.
Habitat soft, brackish, salt water. It is found on phanerogame prairies and on sandy bottoms.
Food habits it is mainly carnivorous; it feeds on crustaceans including mussels and oysters.
Reproduction while growing up each gilthead seabream changes sex: until two years they behaves as males, afterward they become females. Males reach sexual maturity at two years of age, females at 3-4 years. They reproduce in the sea between October and December, eggs are spherical and pelagic.
Status in the lagoon fishfarms (Dogà, Grassabò, Cavallino, Lio Maggiore, Paleazza, Perini, Serraglia, Averto, Contarina, Cornio Basso, Zappa, Figheri, Pierimpié), lagoon between the channel Malamocco-Marghera and Giudecca island.

References La Scheda di Gianluca Ragusa, in Iniziativa Pesca - Anno II, n. 10, Maggio 1998
Guida alla natura nella Laguna di Venezia - di Giampaolo Rallo - Franco Muzzio editore
Web References http://www.federcoopesca.it/Iniziativa/Giornale/anno_ii_n_10/la_scheda_di/orata.htm
Source of the photo http://www.ulg.ac.be/aquarium/visite/mt/dorade.html

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