Serranus atricauda

Super Group: 
Günther 1874
Paracentropristis atricauda (Günther, 1874)


Diagnosis_Genus: Serranus Cuvier. Serranus are the species which have, at the same time, serrations at their preoperculum and prickles at their operculum. Bloch and M. de Lacepede had assembled them at the holocentres of Artédi. The Mediterranean sea produces many, the most common of which are confounded under the common names of sea-perch and serran, and are remarkable for the vivacity of their colors, especially at the time of reproduction. A species of the same sea, much larger, and reaching more than three feet, but of a greyish color, is the grouper. Another species, remarkable for its beautiful red color, the length of its ventrals, the forks of its cuadale, especially the inferior, and the third ray of its dorsal fin is the barber (Serranus Anthias) whom Rondelet believed the anthias ancient. The seas of the hot countries produce many serrans, quite varied in size and color.

Diagnosis_Species: Serranus atricauda Günther. D. 10/15. A. 3/8. L. lat. 115. I am unable to identify a specimen from Mogador with any of the species described as being allied to Serranus cabrilla or Serranus scriba, the scales being considerably smaller than in any of those species. There are eleven scales in a transverse series between the dorsal fin and lateral line. The eight of the body is two sevenths of the total length (without caudal), the length of the head one third. Snout scaleless, pointed, with the lower jaw slightly prominent, the maxillary extending beyond the vertical from the middle of the eye. The diameter of the eye is two ninths of the length of the head and two thirds of that of the snout. Interorbital space flat, much less than the diameter of the eye. The serrature round the angle of the praeoperculum in much coarser than on the remainder of the bone. The fourth, fifth, and sixth dorsal spines are the longest. Ventral fin terminating at a great distance from the vent; caudal truncated. Reddish Olive (in spirit), with several dark cross bands, most distinct in the middle of the side of the body; two of them are darker and broader than the rest, and occupy the middle of the body. An oblique dark steak from the eye to the angle of the praeoperculum. The soft vertical fins with numerous very small bluish ocelli. Corners of the caudal fin deep black. I find that in the specimen from Mogador is identical with others in the British Museum From the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands (Teneriffe) which I have hitherto cofounded with S. Cabrilla.

Other description (Marine Species): D X + 15-16, A III + 8; caudal fin truncate to slightly emarginate. Scales small, about 80-90 in lateral line. Colour: brownish; a series of darker, large blotches along sides, vertically elongate; blue dots and dark edge on median fins. Size: to 35 cm SL.

Body_adult_max_length: 43.2 cm (Fishbase)
Body_adult_common_length: 25 cm (Fishbase)
Body_sexual_maturity_smallest_length: 16 cm (Garcia et al., 2006)
Body_sexual_maturity_TL50%_length: 19.3 cm (Garcia et al., 2006)
Body_sexual_maturity_TL95%_length: 33.1 cm (Garcia et al., 2006)
Body_mature_egg_length: 542-696 µm (Garcia et al., 2002)
Sequence: KX925333, KX925334, KX925335, KX925336, KX925337 (Vella & Vella, 2016)



Serranus: Latin, serran, serranus, saw and a fish of genus Serranus (Fishbase).

Type species

The type species of the genus Serranus is Perca cabrilla (Linnaeus, 1758).


Serranus atricauda lives in Eastern Atlantic: along the coasts of Europe and Africa from Biscay, the Azores, south to the Canary Islands, Algeria and Morocco (Fishbase).

Habitat: coastal
Salinity: marine
Substrat: water
Salinity: marine
Depth: 2-90 m (IUCN)
Depth_adult: demersal (IUCN)
Oxygen_level: oxic
Depth_egg: pelagic
Sociability_adults: solitary (Sous les mers)

Life cycle

The maximum life span reported for Serranus atricauda is 16 years (Fishbase).
Serranus atricauda is a hermaphrodite and maturation occurs at 4 years old (IUCN).
The specimens revealed the presence of maturing and ripe individuals between December and October, excluding January because only one individual was sampled then. This finding may indicate that the population spawns throughout this period, peaking between February (37.5%) and June (89.8%). From the oocyte size-frequency distributions, we concluded that the type of fecundity in this species is indeterminate evidenced by the lack of hiatus between advanced yolked oocytes and less mature oocytes. Batch fecundity estimates (n=28) varied between 21,774 and 369,578 oocytes. The spawning-frequency estimate for individuals from 17.2 to 43.2 cm TL was 42 times/year, and 26.5% (45/170) of individuals spawned at an average of every 3.8 days (Garcia et al., 2006).
No sexual dimorphism.

Longevity: more than 3 years
Reproduction_mode: sexual_hermaphrodite_synchronous
Generation_time: more than 3 years
Fertility_period: seasonal (during winter to fall, from December to October, with peak between February and June (Garcia et al., 2006)
spawning_method: indeterminate
Fecondity_number_of_eggs_per_adult: between 21,774 and 369,578 oocytes per batch fecondity (Garcia et al., 2006)


Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming


Observation site(s)


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Association with... Region origin Name of site In reference...
Amyloodinium ocellatum Aquarium Zoological Society of London