Sphyraena sphyraena

Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Sphyraena sphyraena Linnaeus, 1758

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Sphyraena sphyraena (Linnaeus, 1758) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body oblong, jaws elongate, lower jaw projecting; strong canine-like teeth; gillrakers absent. Preoperculum completely covered by scales, posterior edge rounded. Pelvic fins inserted below first dorsal fin; tips of pectoral fins not reaching pelvic fins. Lateral line with 125-145 scales, 13-14 scales above lateral line, 30-32 before first dorsal fin origin. Colour: body dark above, silvery below, with no prominent cross-bars; in fresh Mediterranean specimens a longitudinal pale yellow band about parallel to lateral line. Size: to 160 cm SL, usually 30-60 cm.

Habitat: water column, usually in pelagic zone, but smaller fish often near bottom. Food: mostly fish, less often cephalopods and crustaceans.
Reproduction: warmer months of the year. Commercial importance: caught in some quantities in coastal fisheries.

Distribution: Atlantic coasts from Madeira and Morocco northward to Bay of Biscay; also, throughout Mediterranean and Black Sea. Elsewhere, along coast of West Africa to Angola and in western Atlantic off Brazil and Bermuda.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Raffaele, 1888: 64 | Lo Bianco, 1909: 753 | Vialli, 1937, pl. 35 (fig. 10-20); 1956: 457 | Marinaro, 1971: 22, pl. 4 (fig. 1).
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverría, 1926: 150, fig. 31 | Bauzá-Rullán, 1959: 91, pl. 1 (fig. 10-13).