The Dentex (Dentex dentex) can grow to 45cm, may reach up to 1m.
Oval body form, with variable colouration. The back tends to be a blue-grey to greenish purple, fading into a pinkish white on the sides and belly. Small bluish spots are to be seen on the fresh specimen, on the back and sides. A degree of vertical banding can be seen (normally 5), although the edges are diffuse. Older larger specimens of a meter or so tend towards a reddish colouration all over. The head is large, with a thick-lipped mouth, with visible pointed canines (4 to 6), in the front, with smaller pointed teeth behind. Older males also have a conspicuous raised forehead. The anterior portion of the dorsal fin is composed of 11 spines, whilst the dorsal portion is composed of 11 to 12 branched rays. The anal fin has 3 anterior spines, with a branched ray posterior.
Hermaphrodite, that spawns in May, but not in UK waters.
Shallow waters around 30M, although it maybe found in as little as 10m, down to depths of 200 M. Favors rocky areas, although maybe found over sandy substrates during spring and summer.
This is a predatory fish, feeding on a range of other fish, molluscs, crustaceans, and squid.
Very rare visitor to UK waters.
The Aquarium Project