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. 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]


Acanthopagrus australis
Dentex fourmanoiri
Pagrus auratus

The family Sparidae contains about 155 species in 38 genera:

Timeline of genera

Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene Boops Lithognathus Calamus Diplodus Oblada Pagellus Dentex Pagrus Sargus Sparus Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene


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

See also


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sparidae.
  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., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 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.
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