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Species guide

Peacock wrasse

Scientific name: Symphodus tinca

DESCRIPTION:
The peacock wrasse has a long, strong body, finishing in a beak with large, fleshy lips. Its colour is usually greenish and brownish, sometimes yellow, with blue and red spots. It also has a series of black stains from the beak to the eyes, on the pectoral fins and on the tail. The females and males on heat have two dark longitudinal bands on their sides.
Its maximum size is 45 cm.

BIOLOGY:
It is a species that is often gregarious, that is, it normally lives in groups with others of its species.
It feeds on invertebrates that it fins on the bed, and is therefore carnivorous.
It has oviparous reproduction and lays its eggs in May to June. It does not build a nest, the females lay their eggs on rocks covered with seaweed while the males watch over them. The young animals are female, some of which will become male during their life. Female sexual maturity comes at two, and after one year they become male.

HABITAT:
It lives in fields of algae and Neptune grass and on rocky and sandy beds in the whole of the Mediterranean, and may be found from the surface to deep waters.

DISTRIBUTION:
It is found in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the eastern Atlantic Ocean (Spain and Morocco).

STATUS:
Species not evaluated (according to the red list of threatened species).

CURIOSITIES:
When it sleeps, it undergoes a surprising change of colour and becomes bluish.