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Interesting Facts about Sea Breams

[Phylum: Chordata] [Class: Actinopterygii] [Order: Spariformes] [Family: Sparidae (ray-finned)]

By and large, the marine species of sea bream refers to several families of ray-finned fishes (called Sparidea) and porgies (high-backed snappers).

This section contains interesting facts about 155 different species of seabreams, including what they eat, where to find them, and which ones are edible.

Sea Bream Species Habitat and Distribution

Worldwide, sea breams tend to inhabit tropical and temperate coastal waters.

They are a demersal fish species, meaning they live near the bottom of seas and oceans.

Seabreams are mostly marine fishes. But, the species that live in brack water will also enter freshwater environments (e.g. rivers, estuaries).

Many of the sea breams fished for food are found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean coastlines.

Around the world, commercial fisheries target most "sparid" species for the fish food industry. As a result, the common dentex and gilt-head bream are highly sought after by restaurants, and in home cookery.

Seabream Behaviour and Characteristics

This predatory species feeds most on benthic invertebrates, such as clams, crustaceans, and worms. Excluding the largest species, sea breams tend to congregate in schools, especially juveniles.

For the most part, the body of almost all breams is oblong and compressed. They have a large head, with a steep dorsal profile.

They have scales on the operculum and the cheeks. The protruding mouth has an oblique tendency and they have a short upper jaw.

Here's the thing:

The teeth are conical or flattened, but there are no teeth on the roof of the mouth. One large dorsal fin supports up to 13 spines and up to 17 soft rays.

The body colouring of sea breams varies... a lot! Most of the larger species tend to have pink, red, or grey hues, often with tints of silver and dark spots or stripes.

Pro Tip: Many ray-finned fishes, including some Sparidae, display hermaphroditic behaviour. In other words, the species can change sex as they develop and mature into adulthood.

Sea Bream Species List

Banded Seabream (Diplodus fasciatus)


Black Seabream (Spondyliosoma cantharus)


Cherry Seabream (Polysteganus cerasinus)


Couch's Bream (Pagrus pagrus)


Dentex Sea Bream

Most sea breams have a high commercial value as a food fish. But, the life history of the marine ray-finned dentex fish has endangered the species.

This section contains facts and information about the common dentex (Dentex dentex), including where to find this salt water predator, what they eat, and why it's classified as Vulnerable.


Gilt-Head Sea Bream (Sparus aurata)


Ray's Bream (Atlantic pomfret)


Red Seabream (Pagellus bogaraveo)


White Steenbras (Lithognathus lithognathus)


Yellowfin Seabream (Acanthopagrus latus)


Related Information and Help Guides

Note: The short video [3:13 seconds] presented by 'Abang Aram' contains fun and interesting facts about different species of sea bream.

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