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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Sparisoma (Euscarus) cretense (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: Iarge scales on body and major part of head. Snout conical, shorter than post-orbital length. Edge of fused teeth with indentures in young specimens. Median suture in each jaw present. Preopercular edge membraneous. Dorsal finrays VIII-IX + 10; anal finrays III + 9. Lateral line interrupted with 18 19 + 5 7 scales; above lateral line 1-2 rows of scales and I on cheeks. Gillrakers 10-14. Vertebrae 24. Colour: males grey-brown, purplish-brown, more pale on belly. Small white spots on back and sides. Females generally reddish, carmine; a large brown (indigo) spot on rear part of head and on beginning of sidcs; a yellow spot on upper part of caudal peduncle, spreading on last dorsal soft rays. Males and females with longitudinal stripes of whitish spots on sides. Size: to 50 cm SL, usually 20-30 cm.

Habitat: on rocky and sandy shores down to 30 m. Reproduction: August-October in southern Italy. Food: algae (Corallina) and small invertebrates.

Distribution: in the Mediterranean and from Portugal and the Azores southwards to Senegal.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Roule & Angel, 1930: 101-102, pl. V (fig. 131-132) | Cipria, 1939: 1-5,12 fig. (pl.) | Sparta, 1956: 594-596, fig. 478 481 (from Cipria).
Otoliths (sagitta). Chaine, 1941-1942: 3-9, pl. I (upper row).

Parrotfish (Sparisoma cretense)