Symphodus mediterraneus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Symphodus mediterraneus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Axillary Wrasse
French Crénilabre, Crénilabre méditerranéen, Crénilabre rouquié, Ruchè
Spanish Tordo de roca, Vagueta
Crenilabrus boryanus Risso, 1827
Crenilabrus brunnichii (Lacepède, 1802)
Crenilabrus mediterraneus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Crenilabrus nigrescens Risso, 1827
Crenilabrus pictus Lowe, 1838
Labrus coeruleovittatus Bonnaterre, 1788
Labrus pittima Rafinesque, 1810
Labrus serpentinus Bonnaterre, 1788
Labrus unimaculatus Gmelin, 1789
Lutjanus brunnichii Lacepède, 1802
Lutjanus massiliensis Lacepède, 1802
Lutjanus mediterraneus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Perca mediterranea Linnaeus, 1758
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 27 August 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 27 August 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-07-12
Assessor(s): Pollard, D. & Afonso, P.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is present throughout the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Macronesian islands, and there are no known threats to its populations. Although there is no specific information available on its population status, this is thought to be stable. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:In the Eastern Atlantic, this species is present from Portugal to northern Morocco and throughout the Macaronesian archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, the Selvangens and the Canary islands (P. Afonso pers. comm. 2008). It is also found throughout the Mediterranean Sea, including the Sea of Marmara, but not in the Black Sea (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; France; Gibraltar; Greece; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Libya; Malta; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Portugal; Slovenia; Spain; 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):70
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is generally common throughout most of the Mediterranean Sea, except along the coasts of the eastern Levant, where it is less abundant. The population is stable in Turkey, and most likely also throughout the rest of the Mediterranean Sea (Bilecenoglu pers. comm.).

In the Azores it is quite common although found in relatively low numbers (Afonso 2002) throughout its preferred habitat, and populations are thought to be stable. In the Canary islands, it is occasional and thought to have diminished in the last two decades (Brito et al. 2002).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is generally found over vegetated rocky substrates and in coralligenous habitats. It is also found associated with seagrass beds (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008). It feeds mainly on gastropods, bivalves, tubiculous worms, chitons, sea urchins and bryozoans (Quignard and Pras 1986), and also crustaceans (Golani et al. 2006). It is found from 1-70m depth.

Spawning takes place in spring, and the eggs are laid in a nest constructed by the male (Golani et al. 2006).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species may be utilised and sold for food when caught in local artisanal fisheries, where it is probably mainly used in fish soup (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats to this small species, although it may be utilised and sold for food when caught in local artisanal fisheries (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range.

Citation: Pollard, D. & Afonso, P. 2010. Symphodus mediterraneus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187475A8544986. . Downloaded on 24 May 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided