Saddled seabream

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The saddled seabream (Oblada melanura), also called the saddle bream or oblade, is a species of fish of the family Sparidae.[1] It is monotypic in the genus Oblada.

Saddled seabream
Capo Gallo Oblada melanura.jpg
Scientific classification

Cuvier, 1829
O. melanura
Binomial name
Oblada melanura


It has a fuse-shaped blueish-silver body, with a black spot near the tail. The maximum length recorded for this species is 34 centimetres (13 in),[2] and maximum recorded weight is 0.93 kilograms (2.1 lb). Commonly specimens are around 20 centimetres (7.9 in). The mouth is relatively small, with lower jaw being little bit in front of the upper jaw.

It is a gregarious fish, spawning in June and July. The saddled seabream is an omnivorous fish, but feeds mainly on small invertebrates.

Distribution and habitatEdit

It is found over seagrass and rocky bottoms in the Mediterranean Sea, Bay of Biscay, Madeira, Cape Verde, Canary Islands and Strait of Gibraltar to Angola.[2]

It can be found between 0 and 30cm, but more commonly between 5 and 20cm. Often can be found near surface, not far away from the shore.


It is important food fish, often found fresh on local fish markets. It is caught in fish traps and various nets all year long. Bait in traps are various fresh and/or salted fish and fish chunks.

Saddled seabream can be hooked day and night, but much better during night. It will bait on bread, cheese, paste, fish chunks, mussels, but best results can be achieved using live bait like live prawns.

When trolling near the shore, it is commonly caught on lures mimicking small Mediterranean sand smelts, various mullets or prawns.


Meat is soft and tender. Smaller specimen are often fried or used for fish soups, while larger specimen can be barbecued, grilled, prepared as part of mixed fish stews. Served with olive oil, garlic, parsley and some lemon juice can be very tasty.


  1. ^ Oblada melanura (Linnaeus, 1758). Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 11 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2010). "Oblada melanura" in FishBase. March 2010 version.

External linksEdit