Cape White Seabream

Diplodus capensis

More commonly known as a blacktail or dassie in South Africa, the Cape white seabream is separated into two distinct populations. One is found from Namibia to southern Angola, while the other is found from Cape Point to southern Mozambique.

Cape White Seabream

Within its range, this species is considered abundant. It is synonymous with rocky surf zones, and usually lives at depths shallower than 10 metres. In KwaZulu-Natal, the Cape white seabream spawns from May to December. Spawning is a group event, with up to 15 individuals releasing their eggs and sperm into the water at the same time. The larvae drift on ocean currents, while juveniles seek shelter in estuaries and subtidal gullies. The Cape white seabream is silver, with a distinct black blotch at the join of tail and body.

Seventy-Four Seabream

Polysteganus undulosus

The seventy-four seabream is endemic to Southern Africa. Recent records suggest that its range extends from Sodwana Bay in the north to Cape Agulhas in the south. Adults congregate in dense shoals on reefs up to

160 metres deep, and are rarely seen shallower than 40 metres. A slow growing, late to mature species, the seventy-four seabream suffered a population collapse in the 1960s due to overfishing. Despite a 15 year moratorium, its recovery has been limited and it is still listed as Critically Endangered. Seventy-four seabream grow up to 120 centimetres in length, and are oval in shape. They are identified by a series of bright blue horizontal stripes, and a single dark blotch on either flank. They migrate north every year in conjunction with the annual Sardine Run.

Scotsman Seabream

Polysteganus praeorbitalis

The Scotsman seabream is a Southern African endemic species, found exclusively from Algoa Bay in South Africa to Beira in Mozambique. Little is known about this species, perhaps because it inhabits reefs as deep as 120 metres.

Adults are thought to migrate for distances of around 300 kilometres, but scientists are not yet sure why. Juveniles are resident to shallow, rocky reefs between 10 and 30 metres deep. The Scotsman seabream feeds mostly on small fish, and grows to a maximum of 90 centimetres. It is silvery pink, with a yellow tinge to its face, a spiny dorsal fin and a steeply sloped forehead. This species can live for more than 13 years. It is slow to mature and susceptible to overfishing, and therefore classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Santer Seabream

Cheimerius nufar

Also known as the soldier fish, the santer seabream is widespread throughout the Western Indian Ocean, and thought to be relatively abundant. However, certain characteristics (including its slow growth and long lifespan) render the species at risk of overfishing.

Nevertheless, it is an important food fish and is targeted throughout its range. Adults live in small, nomadic shoals on reefs as deep as 130 metres, and often migrate into shallower water during storms. Eggs are dispersed on pelagic currents. Santer seabream are carnivorous, feeding mainly on squid and fish. They grow up to 75 centimetres in length and are silvery pink in colour. Often, they can be identified by a series of darker pink vertical bands. This species is thought to be hermaphroditic.

Slinger Seabream

Chrysoblephus puniceus

These fish inhabit coastal waters and can be found mostly over rocky substrate feeding on mollusks, crustaceans, worms, and small fishes at times. They found in shallow water to about 100m depths. They are a monodratic species,

Slinger Seabream

born as all females while some of them will become males when  they reach a size of about 37 cm and start to breed.

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