Latin name

Acanthopagrus schlegelii

Other names

Black porgy, black seabream.


The body is tall, strongly flattened at the sides. The head is large. Mouth terminal small. Caudal fin with small notch. Has 5.5 rows of scales between the lateral line and the central barb of the dorsal fin (in closely related species these rows are 4.5 or less). 

Features of fish fins

The dorsal fin is supported by 11 or 12 spines and 11 soft rays, while the anal fin contains 3 spines and 8 soft rays.

Fish colouring

Distinguished from other species of Acanthopagrus gneus by pale dorsal, caudal, anal and pelvic fins. Overall colouration is black or grey, silvery on the abdomen, with indistinct vertical stripes along the body and a round spot on the upper margin of the elytra.


Occurs in the northwest Pacific, the Sea of Japan, the east coast of Japan from central Honshu southwards, the Yellow Sea and the East and South China Seas.


A marine, brackish, bottom-dwelling, subtropical species. Occurs in sheltered bays, shallow rocky reefs and brackish waters up to 50m deep.


Maximum published standard length for this species is 50 cm (20 inches). Maximum published weight: 3.2 kg. 


This fish has well-developed eyes that allow it to distinguish colours, shapes and distance to its prey. Its eyes are equipped with excellent dynamic vision, which can detect the movement of a very small crab on the bottom. 

Food and feeding habits

A predatory species that feeds on molluscs and polychaetes. 


It is a protandrous hermaphrodite that spawns in spring and summer. Sex change occurs at approximately 5 years of age. Spawning behaviour reaches its diurnal peak just before sunset and low light levels appear to stimulate the fish to spawn. Maximum age for males is 20 years and 28 years for females, with males being more abundant in the lower size classes.


It is an important species in commercial fisheries, particularly in Vietnam.

Relationship with a person

It is an object of aquaculture.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Spariformes
Family Sparidae
Genus Acanthopagrus
Species A. schlegelii
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years 28
Maximum body weight, kg 3,2
Maximum length, cm 50
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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