PORGIES - Sparidae
Usually most common along the shore from shallow water, to deeper water as demersal inhabitants of the continental shelf and slope. To about 1.2 m maximum length. Adults found inshore; the young pelagic.
Carnivores of hard-shelled benthic invertebrates.
Many species have been found to be hermaphroditic; some have male and female gonads simultaneously; others change sex as they get larger. Uses: Premier food and game fishes
Eggs are pelagic.
Characters: Dorsal fin usually having 10-13 spines; soft rays 10-15. Three spines in anal fin; soft rays 8-14. Maxilla hidden by a sheath when mouth is closed. Branchiostegal rays 6. Vertebrae 24 (10 + 14).
Greek, sparoides = a fish with golden head.