Body oblong and moderately compressed. Dorsal fin continuous, the first two spines very small, but none of the other spines is elongated. Anal fin originated at the vertical of the 1st-2nd soft dorsal rays. Caudal fin forked. Pectoral fin pointed, its origin slightly in front of pelvic fin origin. Terminal mouth, jaws not reaching back to vertical of eye. Dorsal profile of head convex, large specimens with bulged nape. 4-6 canines teeth in upper and lower jaws. Two series of molar teeth in each lateral side of each jaw. Body covered with scales which are absent from dorsal and anal fin base.
color : dorsal surface brown-red becoming pinkish-silvery on the belly. Body covered with numerous bright blue spots.
common size : 10-50 cm (max. 100 cm).
Pagrus pagrus – No blue spots on the body.
P. auriga and P. coeroleostictus – The 3rd-5th dorsal spines elongated.
Pagellus spp. – Bands of small conical teeth at the anterior of both jaws.
Dentex spp. – No molar teeth.
Other sparids – Body color not red or pink.
BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Feeds on invertebrates mainly hard shell mollusks and crustaceans. Spawning season in the original distribution region in early summer. Eggs (diameter of 1.2 mm) and larvae planktonic.
habitat : near rocky, sandy or muddy substrate at 30-200 m.