Trachinus draco Linnaeus, Trachinus lineatus Bloch & Schneider.
Elongated with a large angular head, a groundfish. The mouth is relatively large and slanted upwards. The spines in the first barb of the dorsal fin and in the gill covers are equipped with poisonous glands, the sting of these spines is very painful for humans. The body is covered with fine scales. The body colour is greyish-yellow with short oblique brown transverse stripes. Most of the first dorsal fin has a black spot.
It inhabits the coastal waters of the European Atlantic and the Black and Mediterranean Seas.
Lives on the bottom of coastal waters. It prefers soft bottoms where it burrows and waits in ambush for prey - small fish and crustaceans, its high-set eyes remaining above the surface of the bottom.
Maximum length 53 cm, usually up to 25 cm; body mass up to 1.9 kg.
Life history and Behavior
They come almost to the shore to spawn. The fish lays her eggs on the sand or directly in the water and the male fertilises them. The couple then stay close together until the fry hatch.
Food and feeding habits
The diet consists of small fish and crustaceans.
It reaches sexual maturity at the age of three. The breeding period is long, spawning begins in late May - early June and lasts until mid-October. Eggs are pelagic. Eggs develop normally in suspension at salinities of 17-18‰ in the Black Sea, at average oceanic salinity in the North Sea and at higher salinities in the Mediterranean Sea (38-39‰). Fecundity ranges from 9 to 75 thousand floating eggs.
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