New photos - August 2005 These photos show a pair of A. imberbis found in Saronic gulf at a depth of 6 meters. Click on the thumbnails to see the high resolution pictures. Photos by John Reclos /MCH
Photos by G.J.Reclos/MCH, August 2004, Serifos island.
Original drawing in "Guid d'identification des poissons marins Europe et Mediterranee" by Patrick Louisy
Length: Up to 15 cm (usually up to 10 cm).
Distribution: Eastern Atlantic, from Portugal to the Guinea Gulf, from Azores to Cape Verde island, Mediterranean Sea.
Depth: From 2 to 200 meters. I mostly encounter them at depths of 4-10 meters.
Food: Small (plangtonic) invertebrates and fishes.
Family: APOGONIDAE. Nocturnal schooling fish, although sometimes lives solitary in muddy or rocky bottoms, caves, overhangs and swarms, related with reef environments.
Paternal mouthbrooder. There is a question about the relationship of the species with the east African cichlids’ species. The male keeps about 20.000 of eggs in its mouth cavity right after spawning. The eggs form a bluish mass with a round shape. From time to time, the male turns the eggs’ mass in its mouth, spiting and sucking them back, the same way we blow bubble gums.
Both photos have taken in a typical Mediterranean reef in a depth of 20 meters with the help of a flash - light, in the waters that surrounds Syros island in Cyclades, Greece. On the first photo the three specimens are shown under the overhang with some Chromis chromis and in the second a pair of them in the same crevice with also one Chromis chromis. Both photos include other aquatic species as well. Feather worms, algae, hydroids, bryozoans etc. are constructing the reef environment of the natural habitat of the animals.
Breeding: After spawning the male takes the mass of about 20.000 eggs and guards them inside its mouth exactly like the female African cichlids.
General Information: This fish is commonly encountered by divers. Due to their nocturnal feeding habits they stay under rocks and inside caves during the day, but if they stay out of a cave looking inside it and hesitating to go in, that means that a much larger fish (usually a grouper) lives in that cave. It is considered worthless as food, so there are great populations of them because they are not hunted by humans.
We’ll have to thank Kyriakos Boukas (professional scuba diver and member of the Nautical Ecological & Cultural Association of Kini bay) which he kindly offered these photographs to MCH.
For any information about N.E.C.A. and scuba diving in Syros island, you may contact Kyriakos Boukas in the address:
Text by Andreas Iliopoulos / John Reclos