Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 11: 57–70, 2001.
© 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
A review on the biology and potential aquaculture of Dentex dentex
F.M. Rueda & F.J. Mart
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia, Campus of Espinardo, 30100, Murcia, Spain
(Phone: 34-968-364937; Fax: 34-968-363963; E-mail: email@example.com)
Accepted 14 September 2001
Abstract page 57
Biology and ﬁshery of the species 58
Reproduction in the wild
Growth and age
Data from studies in captivity 59
Reproduction from studies in captivity
Egg morphology and development
Growth in captivity
Key words: aquaculture, biology, Dentex dentex,ﬁshery,review
A very limited number of scientiﬁc studies have been conducted on Dentex dentex in its natural environment yet,
over the last decade, this species has been extensively studied in captivity. This sparid ﬁsh, highly regarded in
many countries of the Mediterranean coasts, has recently been successfully produced, on a trial basis, in Greece,
Italy and Spain, and may become a serious candidate for aquaculture. Although the species was ﬁrst considered as
protandric, later studies have characterized Dentex dentex as a gonochoric species with bisexual juvenile phases.
In recent times, it has become possible to control and lengthen the spawning period for the purpose of improving
production management. Embryonic and larval development has been extensively described, and the assaying of
a number of culture conditions and feeding protocols have permitted us to overcome the different stages of larval
development. Survival rates, however, are still low and the feeding requirements at each stage, especially during the
weaning period, are not clearly deﬁned. Nevertheless, growth rate, both at larval and fattening stages, is high when
compared to that of gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). In spite of the many studies performed over recent years,
the lack of a dry feed precludes exploration of the full growth potential of Dentex dentex under culture conditions.
During the larval and juvenile periods, Dentex dentex exhibits aggressive behaviour and high sensitivity to stress,
and is prone to high mortality rates due to a number of pathological processes (systemic granuloma, epitheliocystis,