Boops boops

Super Group: 
Linnaeus, 1758
Box boops (Linnaeus 1758)
Sparus boops (Linnaeus 1758)
Box vulgaris (Valenciennes 1830)
Boops canariensis (Valenciennes 1839)
Box canariensis (Valenciennes 1839)


Diagnosis_Genus: Boops Cuvier. The Saupe (Sparus salpa) and the Bogue (Sparus boops), which have a single row of sharp teeth all around both jaws forms the new genus Boops. Mr Cuvier reports with doubt to this kind the Sparus chrysurus (Bloch).

Diagnosis_Species: Sparus boops Linnaeus. S. lineis longitudinalibus obscuris: inferioribus quatuor aureis argenteisque. Art. gen. 36. Syn. 6 r. Sparus lineis utrinque 4 aureis ac argenteis longitudinalibus parallelis. D. 30. P. -- V. A. I9. C. -- Habitat in M. infero.

Other description (FAO): Body fusiform, rather low and very slightly compressed, its anterior part subcylindrical in cross section. Eye large, its diameter greater than snout length; scales on top of head reaching forward just beyond level of posterior eye margins. Mouth small, oblique; lips very thin; all teeth incisor-like, set in a single row in both jaws; cutting edges of upper teeth with 4, of lower teeth with 5 points (the central point largest). Gillrakers on first arch 16 to 20 lower and 7 or 8 upper. Dorsal fin with 13-15 spines and 12-16 soft rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 14-16. Pectoral fins short, not reaching to anus. Caudal fin forked. Scales along lateral line 69 to 80. Colour back bluish or greenish, sides with silvery or golden reflections and with 3 to 5 golden longitudinal lines; a small brown spot restricted to pectoral fin axils; lateral line dark; fins light. 

Body_adults_max_length: 400 mm (Bottari et al., 2014)
Body_adults: 100-250 mm (Bottari et al., 2014)
Body_juveniles_length: 138 mm (Bottari et al., 2014)

Sequence_EcoRI: AJ270581, AJ270582, AJ270583, AJ270584, AJ270585 (de la Herran et al. 2001)
Sequence_16S: AF247396 (Meynard et al., 2012)
Sequence_Cytb: DQ197932 (Meynard et al., 2012)
Sequence_Rhod: EF439263 (Meynard et al., 2012)
Sequence_RAG1: EU167763 (Meynard et al., 2012)
Sequence: X81567 (Chiba et al., 2009)



Boops : from Greek [bos] = bullock and [op] = eye

Type species

The type species of the genus Boops is Boops asper (Gronow 1854).


Boops boops lives in Eastern Atlantic: Norway to Angola, including the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and the Sao Tome-Principe Islands. Common from Bay of Biscay to Gibraltar. Also found in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (Fishbase).
Juveniles are mostly carnivorous and adults are omnivorous (Bauchot & Hureau, 1986).
No sexual dimorphism.

Sociability: gregarious
Habitat: coastal
Substrate: water
Sociability_adults: gregarious (Georgiadis et al., 2014)
Salinity: marine
Depth: demersal
Depth: semi-pelagic
Depth: benthopelagic (Georgiadis et al., 2014)
Depth: 0-200 m (Mediterranean Sea) (Georgiadis et al., 2014)
Oxygen_level: oxic


Life cycle

The life span of Boops boops is about 5 years and the maximum was listed to 13 years (
The first maturity takes place at age 13-15 months (Khemiri et al., 2005).
Moves in aggregations, ascending to the surface mainly at night (Bauchot & Hureau, 1986).

Migratory: diel vertical migration (Bauchot & Hureau, 1986)
Causality_of_migration: trophic_migration
Temporality_of_migration: dayly (Bauchot & Hureau, 1986)
Longevity: more than 3 years
Generation_time: 1 to 3 years
Fertility_period: seasonal (during spring) (February to April, with a peak in March) (Bottari et al., 2014)
Reproduction_mode: sexual_hermaphrodite_protogynous
Spawning_method: external fertilization in the water column

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming


Observation site(s)


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Association with... Region origin Name of site In reference...
Ichthyodinium chabelardi off Sesimbra
Skovgaard A, Meneses I, Angélico MManuel (2009) Identifying the lethal fish egg parasite Ichthyodinium chabelardi as a member of Marine Alveolate Group I. Environmental Microbiology 11:2030 - 2041. doi: 10.1111/emi.2009.11.issue-810.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01924.x

ASQME static network (beta)

ASQME dynamic network (beta)

ASQME map (beta)