Latin name

Umbrina cirrosa

Other names

Gurbell, sea crow, bearded umbrine and corb.


Body elongated, high, slightly compressed at the sides. Muzzle short and blunt. Small mouth with fine teeth. A short, thick antennae on the chin. Posterior margin of preocular region bony, serrated. Scales mostly comb-like, except on thorax, muzzle and suborbital region, where they are predominantly cycloid.

Features of fish fins

One dorsal fin is divided by a deep notch into barbed (with 10-11 rays) and soft (with 22-24 rays) parts. The anal fin has two barbs and 6-8 soft rays. The caudal fin is slightly serrated.

Fish colouring

The dorsal colouration is brown with forward slanting dark stripes along the sides of the body. There is a black band along the posterior edge of the gill cover. 


Widespread in the eastern Atlantic from the Bay of Biscay to Morocco, occurring in the Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara, Black and Azov Seas.


Coastal benthic species inhabiting depths down to 100 m. Found near rocky shores over rocky or sandy bottoms. Juveniles found in estuaries. 


It can reach a length of 1.5 m (usually up to 40 cm) and a weight of 32 kg. A record-breaking specimen was caught in the Sea of Marmara off the coast of Turkey: 196 cm long and weighing 74 kg.


Migrates seasonally, moving closer to shore in summer and deeper in winter.

Food and feeding habits

Feeds on benthic invertebrates and fish (engraulis, scombridae, mugilidae).


Males first mature at two years of age (premature one-year-old males have been seen) and females at three years of age. Spawns off the coast of Turkey in March-April, off the coast of Bulgaria in June-August and in the Mediterranean in July-August. Fecundity up to 2900 thousand eggs.


Its commercial value is low due to low numbers. It is occasionally caught as bycatch.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Acanthuriformes
Family Sciaenidae
Genus Umbrina
Species U. cirrosa
Conservation status Vulnerable
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 74
Maximum length, cm 196
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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