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

The Sparidae are a family of fish in the order Perciformes, commonly called sea breams and porgies (North America). 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. Most species possess grinding, molar-like teeth.[2] Some of the species, such as Polysteganus undulosus, have been subject to overfishing, or exploitation beyond sustainable recovery.[3]


File:Acanthopagrus australis.jpg
Acanthopagrus australis
Dentex fourmanoiri
Pagrus auratus

The family Sparidae contains about 155 species in 38 genera:

Timeline of genera


The most celebrated of the breams in cookery are the gilt-head bream and the common dentex.[5]

See also


  1. Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F. (2012): Breams , SPARIDAE, in Fishes of Australia
  2. Johnson, G.D. & Gill, A.C. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Eating the head is known to cause hallucinations, lasting many days.
  3. Hogan, C.M. (2010): Overfishing. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment.
  4. 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.
  5. Davidson, A. Mediterranean Seafood, Penguin, 1972. ISBN 0-14-046174-4, pp. 86–108.