Gilt-head bream (Sparus aurata Linnaeus, 1758) is a sea bass fish and brackish waters, belonging to the Sparidae family. The name comes from the characteristic gold strip that the fish shows in the eyes.
Distribution and habitat The bream is present throughout the Mediterranean basin and the eastern Atlantic, from the extreme south of the British islands to Cape Verde. It is a strictly coastal fish and lives between 5 and 150 m from the coast; Frequents both hard and sandy backdrops, is particularly widespread at the border between the two substrates. It usually leads to lonely or small groups. It is a very eurial species, so that it can often be found in lagoons and estuaries, but is extremely sensitive to low temperatures. It is very common in the Italian seas.
Description It stands out to have the contour of the convex head and the jaw slightly shorter than the upper jaw. On the front of each jaw there are 4-6 large caniniform teeth, followed by 3-5 sets of molariform upper and lower 3-4 teeth. The body is oval high and depressed. The dorsal fin is unique with 11 spiny spokes and 12-13 moles. The flakes are absent on the muzzle, on the preorbital and the interorbital. The side line includes 75-85 scales. The back is grayish gray and silvery hips with thin gray longitudinal lines. A black band and a golden one are interposed between the eyes. The scapular region is black, this color continues on the upper part of the operculus, whose margin is reddish. The dorsal fin is grayish gray, with a darker median longitudinal band. The maximum length of the orb is 70 cm, but the most common is between 20 and 50 cm; Can reach a weight of about 10 kg.
Reproduction The breams are hermaphrodite proterndric: most individuals undergo sexual inversion at the age of 2 years (33-40 cm in length). Reproduction (with more than one cycle of ovodeposition) takes place between October and December.
Feeding in nature consists predominantly of shellfish and crustaceans whose shell with strong jaws is cut off.