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Diplodus vulgaris.jpg
Diplodus vulgaris
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Superfamily: Percoidea
Family: Sparidae
Rafinesque, 1810

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]


Dentex fourmanoiri
Pagrus auratus

The family Sparidae contains about 155 species in 38 genera:

Timeline of genera[edit]

Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Plio. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene Crenidens Boops Lithognathus Calamus Diplodus Oblada Pagellus Dentex Pagrus Sargus Sparus Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Plio. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F. (2012): Breams , SPARIDAE, in Fishes of Australia
  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.