Diplodus vulgaris 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Sparidae

Scientific Name: Diplodus vulgaris (Saint-Hilaire, 1817)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Common Two-banded Seabream, Blacktail Bream, Two-banded Seabream
French Sar, Sar à Téte Noire, Sar à Tête Noire
Spanish Mojarra, Sargo, Sargo Mojarra, Sargo Seifa
Sargus salviani Valenciennes, 1830
Sargus vulgaris Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2009-08-18
Assessor(s): Russell, B., Buxton, C.D., Pollard, D. & Carpenter, K.E.
Reviewer(s): de Morais, L.
Contributor(s): Comeros-Raynal, M. & Gorman, C.

Diplodus vulgaris
is a common and widespread species ranging from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean and the coast of Africa, occurring to depths of 160 m. There is no evidence of population declines, despite its high commercial value. The range of D. vulgaris overlaps with marine protected areas throughout its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. 


This species is widespread and abundant in European waters. Its range also overlaps with a number of marine protected areas in the region. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. 

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Diplodus vulgaris is present in the eastern Atlantic from southwestern France (Bay of Biscay) to Senegal, including Madeira and the Canary Islands, but is absent from the Cape Verde Islands (Carpenter in press). It is present throughout the Mediterranean Sea and in the southern Black Sea. The records from Angola to South Africa (Carpenter in press) need to be verified (Smith and Smith 1986). This species occurs to 160 m depth (Sala and Ballesteros 1997).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; France; Gibraltar; Greece; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Libya; Malta; Mauritania; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Nigeria; Portugal (Azores, Madeira); Senegal; Slovenia; Spain (Baleares, Canary Is.); Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):160
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Diplodus vulgaris is common outside sea-cage forms in the Turkish Aegean Sea, feeding on the feed (pellets) (Akyol and Ertosluk 2010), and accounted for 2.7% of the total weight around one fish farm from 2004–2008. There is significant genetic variation between populations of D. vulgaris in the Aegean and Adriatic Seas (Arculeo et al. 2003). 

This species is common and abundant throughout the Mediterranean Sea. It is common along the West African coast from the Straits of Gibraltar to Cape Verde, around Madeira and the Canary Islands (Carpenter in press).

The catch statistics for Turkey were: 1995 - 2,152 tonnes, 1996 - 1,889 tonnes, 1997 - 1,250 tonnes, 1998 - 1,500 tonnes, 1999 -1,560 tonnes, 2001- 375 tonnes, 2002 - 203 tonnes, and 2006 - 185 tonnes. An average of 16% of the Turkish catch comes from the Black Sea.

FAO capture production figures for 2012 were: Croatia - 15 tonnes, Cyprus - five tonnes, Malta - one tonne, and Portugal - 367 tonnes.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a euryhaline species inhabiting particularly rocky and sandy bottoms usually close to Posidonia oceanica plants to depths of 160 m, but more commonly in less than 50 m and sometimes in lagoons (Arculeo et al. 2003, Carpenter in prep). The young are sometimes found in seagrass beds (Carpenter in press). Food items are mainly composed of algae, bivalves and crustaceans. Diplodus vulgaris shows a generalist feeding behaviour and is omnivorous (Horta et al. 2004). 

The spawning season for D. vulgaris in southern Portugal extends from September to April, with a length at 50% maturity of 17.27 cm for males and 17.65 cm for females (Gonçalves et al. 2003). The spawning season for this species off the southwest coast of Portugal was reported to extend from December to March, peaking in January and February. This species is characterized as a rudimentary hermaphrodite with possible protandry (Gonçalves and Erizini 2000). 

In the western Mediterranean Sea, this species is a hermaphrodite and its reproduction occurs in autumn , the young are present in December-January and the older fish in May-June. Sexual maturity occurs at two years of age between 17 and 19 cm length (Fischer et al. 1987, Dulcic et al. 2010). The parameters of the Von Bertalanffy growth model for this species are: L∞ =28.78 cm, K=0.389, to=-0.657 (Gordoa and Moli 1997); L∞=26.77 cm, K=0.255, to=-0.607 (Man-Wai and Quignard 1984); and L∞.=23.47 cm, K=0.224, to=-1.446 (Bradai 2000). The maximum total length of this species is 45 cm (Fischer et al. 1987) and its longevity was reported as eight years (Bradai 2000); however, Dragičević et al. (unpublished 2007) reported that the maximum age of this species exceeds 20 years. 

Generation length for D. vulgaris is estimated to be nine years, using the following equation for a gonochoristic fish species: Generation length = Σxlxmx/Σlxmx
Generation Length (years):9
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Fishing for this species is semi-industrial (in Sicily, the Adriatic and Egypt) and artisanal elsewhere, and it is also a sport fish.  The main fishing gears are trammel nets, gill nets, hand lines, traps (Canary Islands), beach seines (young fish), bottom long lines and spear fishing. This species is usually present in the markets of Sicily, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia, Morocco, France and countries in the Adriatic Sea. Marketed fresh, frozen or dried salted (its flesh is not very highly esteemed) and is also used for fishmeal and oil (Carpenter in press).

Species of Diplodus, including D. vulgaris, are highly valuable resources in Portugal. In 2008, together they were the 13th most important item in the landings, and the 11th in terms of commercialized value (Instituto Nacional De Estatística 2009), and this genus was the sixth most important fish species in the landings in 2000, averaging 57% of the national catches in weight from 1988 to 2000 (DGPA 2002, Gonclaves et al. 2003). Official data and management does not regard these species as individual units, and data are collected on the Diplodus genus in general, which is an important limitation for scientific studies and proper management (Vinagre et al. 2010).

Diplodus vulgaris is a candidate for aquaculture as it has a high tolerance for low salinity and can mature easily without hormone treatment (Jug-Dujakovic and  Glamuzina 1988, Horta et al. 2004, Ozório et al. 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Potential localized declines from fishing and habitat modification pose a threat to D. vulgaris.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The minimum landing size for this species in Portugal is 15 cm (Gonçalves et al. 2003). It occurs in several marine protected areas within its range (World Database of Protected Areas, accessed 11 March 2014). It is recommended that more genetic research be conducted for the management of this species.

Citation: Russell, B., Buxton, C.D., Pollard, D. & Carpenter, K.E. 2014. Diplodus vulgaris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T170261A1304171. . Downloaded on 23 March 2018.
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