Dentex is a species of Sparidae fish. It lives in sandy or stony deeps, from just some metres to 200 m, and is an active predator, feeding on other fish, mollusca and cephalopods. Dentex is solitary for most of the year, but during reproduction it lives in groups for some weeks: fully-grown Dentex stay together just two to three weeks during spring in the warmer water near the surface. Adult Dentex can reach a length of more than one metre, and weight up to 20 kg.
How To Identify:
The Dentex have oval shaped rather deep bodies with a massive, smoothly rounded head in adults. Very large individuals have a profile with a slight frontal hump. Both jaws have well-developed canine like teeth plus several rows of smaller teeth of similar shape. The dorsal fin has 11 spines and 11 or 12 soft rays, the spines increasing in length from the first to the fourth or fifth then subequal. The lateral line has 62 68 scales. Color is variable but young are Dentex are grayish, spotted with black on the back and upper sides, becoming pinkish with sexual maturity. Older individuals are bluish gray with spots becoming more or less diffuse with age. Some have a yellow tinge behind the mouth and on the gill cover. They can be distinguished from other similar species by the dark spots, which are always present and the several rows of canine like teeth. Other species have more than one type of teeth or incisor like teeth.
How To Catch:
Fishing methods include trolling with dead bait, live bait like mackerel, garfish, boga and squid or artificials such as rapalas in 10 to 50 m (33 to 165 ft). Bottom fishing in deeper waters with both live and dead bait such as anchovies, sardines, octopus or squid is also productive. They are very clever fish, needing small hooks and light leaders.
Dentex is common in the Mediterranean Sea, but also seen in the Black Sea and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from the British Isles to Mauretania, sometimes up to Senegal and Canary Islands.