An Eco-sustainable World
FishSpecies Animal

Boops boops

Boops boops

The bogue (Boops boops Linneaus, 1758) is a bony fish belonging to the Sparidae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Animalia,
Subkingdom Eumetazoa,
Bilateria branch,
Phylum Chordata,
Subphylum Vertebrata,
Superclass Gnathostomata,
Class Actinopterygii,
Subclass Osteichthyes,
Superorder Acanthopterygii,
Order Perciformes,
Suborder Percoidei,
Sparidae family,
Genre Boops
Species B. boops.
The term is basionym:
– Sparus boops Linnaeus, 1758.
The terms are synonyms:
– Boops canariensis Valenciennes, 1839;
– Box boops (Linnaeus, 1758);
– Box canariensis (Valenciennes, 1839);
– Box vulgaris Valenciennes, 1830.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Boops boops is a widespread fish in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, from the Bay of Biscay to the coasts of Angola but more rarely in the seas of Scotland and in the North Sea; it is very common in the Mediterranean Sea and is also found in the Black Sea.
Its marine habitat is that of coastal waters where it is found on variable but above all rocky bottoms and in Posidonia oceanica and avoids too brackish waters such as the Baltic Sea. It is less tied to the bottom than the other Mediterranean sparrows and can be defined as semi-pelagic, however it can also be found far from the coasts.
The biggest specimens can also be found at depths exceeding 200 m and it has been caught up to 350 meters deep but usually does not go below 100. It often reaches the surface at night.

Description –
The Boops boops can be recognized by the oblong, fusiform, slightly laterally compressed body; the body is covered by robust and relatively large scales, which are 69-80 on the (obvious) lateral line.
Exceptionally it reaches a length of 35 cm, commonly at most 20 cm.
It has a greenish yellow color with metallic reflections in the dorsal part. The sides are instead silvery, which lighten more in the ventral part. Along the body there are 3-4 (5) yellow-gold horizontal stripes, much more evident in life. On the armpit of the pectoral fins there is a small black spot.
The head is conical in shape with the eye.
The mouth is terminal, small and oblique, with thin and equal lips. It has small, single-row teeth on both jaws.
The dorsal fin consists of a first part with 13-15 weak spiny rays and a second part with 12-16 lower soft rays and with a pointed rear lobe. The anal fin (3 weak spiny rays and 14-16 soft) is opposite the soft part of the dorsal, of which it follows its shape, but is shorter. The ventral fin has a thin, flexible spine and 5 soft rays. The pectoral fins are triangular in shape, with a pointed upper lobe, and stretched back, they do not reach the anal opening.

Biology –
The Boops boops is a protogynous hermaphroditic fish; most of the young individuals are females and as they age they turn into males. However, there are also females that do not change sex and males that do not change from birth.
The spawning period occurs in spring and summer.
The eggs are floating and are found in plankton.
The juvenile stages are pelagic and approach the coast.
It can live up to 15 years.

Ecological role –
The term Boops boops comes from the ancient Greek βόωψ, literally “cow’s eye”.
This fish is strictly gregarious and forms even large schools and is generally found at a depth of 100 m and rarely up to 350 m.
It is an omnivorous species, mainly nourishing of plant material, crustaceans and zooplankton.
In particular, it nourishes of planktonic organisms (copepods, other crustaceans), of eggs and larvae of other marine organisms, especially fishes. It is not uncommon to see this fish attacking jellyfish with bites.
This fish is caught in purse seines especially at night under the light with purse seines on the coasts of southern Italy or with small seines. Bite the hooks of bottom fishing, small floating lines. It also bites very easily to lines baited with marine worms, pieces of shrimp, various molluscs, sardines and even bread dough, sardines, cheese, etc. commonly used for fishing for mullet. In Sicily, the largest sizes are caught on the hook, on bottoms of over 30 meters.
It has firm and savory meat, excellent fried for the small pieces and grilled for the larger ones; however, the specimens caught in the north have poorer meat.
Also when cleaned and pan-fried, broiled or baked fresh, they taste good, but once stored their gut flora soon spreads off-flavors to their flesh.
Much of the catch is used for fishmeal or tuna bait.
The species is fished commercially, with 37,830 tonnes caught in 2008.
Boops boops hosts a wide variety of parasites, ranging from metazoans such as monogeneous flatworms (such as Microcotyle isyebi and Cyclocotyla bellones) acanthocephalic spinyworms, nematode nematodes, isopod and copepod crustaceans and myxozoan cnidarians, and the unicellular dinoflagellate Ichthyodinium chabelardi, a lethal parasite for eggs that develop in the ovaries. At least 67 species of metazoan parasites of the species have been reported.

Guido Bissanti

– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Louisy P., 2016. Guide to the identification of marine fish of Europe and the Mediterranean. Il Castello Editore, Milan.
– Nikiforos G., 2008. Fauna of the Mediterranean. Giunti Editore, Florence.

Photo source:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *