The John Dory (Zeus faber) can grow up to 66cm.
Massive head with extendable mouth, and rounded body shape when viewed from the side. The transverse body section profile is however of a narrow keel form. The dorsal fin has long anterior rays, that extend into 9 to 10 spines, with spiny scales on their edges. This is in contrast to the shorter branched rays of the posterior section. The anterior portion of the anal fin also has rays, this time forming 4 spines with spiny scale edges. A distinctive black spot is to be seen on the body. This is set back, and slightly higher than the pectoral fin, and is itself ringed by a narrow yellow halo. The pelvic fins are greatly extended with their long rays. Colouration is a yellowish brown to grey on the back with an almost metallic sheen, blending into the silver grey sides. The membranes of the anal and pelvic fins tend to be noticeable by their blackened appearance.
Late spring and summer, with a rapid rate of growth , so that by the second winter, individuals normally reach 25cm.
Rocks and weeds of shallow to moderate waters tend to be favored, although fish are reported to depths of 200m. John Dory tend to be solitary fish.
This includes a wide variety of small fish, including young of the Gadidae family, small herrings, sandeels, etc.. This fish is noted for its stalking abilities towards its prey (which compensates for its lack of speed)... which it then engulfs, by use of its extendable (protrusible) mouth.
Whilst having a range spanning from Scotland down to the Canary Isles and Mediterranean, in the UK it is most likely to be encountered on the southern and western shores.
The Aquarium Project