Dentex dentex, Common dentex : fisheries, aquaculture, gamefish
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Dentex dentex (Linnaeus 1758)

Common dentex
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Dentex dentex
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Eupercaria/misc () > Sparidae (Porgies)
Etymology: Dentex: Latin, dens, dentis = teeth (Ref. 45335).  More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; benthopelagic; depth range 0 - 200 m (Ref. 3688), usually 15 - 50 m (Ref. 54220).   Subtropical; 56°N - 12°N, 23°W - 42°E (Ref. 54220)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic: British Isles to Cape Blanc, Mauritania; (exceptionally further south) Senegal and around the Canary Islands and Madeira. Common south of 40°N (Spain, North Africa) in the Mediterranean (Ref. 4781).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 34.6  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3397); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3688); max. published weight: 14.3 kg (Ref. 40637)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-12; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 7 - 9. Body oval and compressed. Canine teeth, with 4 to 6 anterior teeth very developed in each jaw.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabit hard bottoms (rock or rubble) down to 200 m depth. Usually found in shallow water less than 50 m deep (Ref. 9987). Adults solitary; young gregarious (Ref. 12482). Young fish caught with traps. Feed on fish, mollusks and cephalopods. Important food fish. Marketed fresh or frozen (Ref. 9987). Some attempts to culture this species have been successful. Due to low market supply, the potential for selling these fish from aquaculture operations seems to be good (Ref. 9987). A spear-fisherman cites a specimen caught in Greece (Corfu) with an overnight bottom-line about 1.60 m and 42 kg (Ref. 48271), but the identification cannot be verified.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Gonochoric, but some specimens are hermaphroditic. Species of separated sexes (although some individuals may be hermaphrodite in young stages). In the Mediterranean, reproduction takes place between March and May, in areas near the coast. Embryo development lasts about 3 days at 17°C.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Bauchot, M.-L. and J.-C. Hureau, 1990. Sparidae. p. 790-812. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 3688)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd); Date assessed: 17 August 2009

CITES (Ref. 123416)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Aquaculture: production; fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | DORIS | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | Public aquariums | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 13.3 - 21.1, mean 18.1 °C (based on 298 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5001   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01148 (0.00962 - 0.01371), b=3.02 (2.99 - 3.05), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.4 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.1; tm=2-3).
Prior r = 0.39, 95% CL = 0.24 - 0.61, Based on 9 stock assessments.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (66 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.