Saddled Seabream – Oblada melanura

Saddled Seabream Oblada melanura Osteichthyes bony fish fishes diving canary islands species atlantic ocean canariesThe Saddled Seabream is a species in the family of the Sea Breams and thus belongs to the superclass of the bony fish. Oblada melanura is monotypic in the genus Oblada. That means, it is the only species in this genus. It was first describes by Linnaeus in 1758.


The Saddled Seabream has an elongated, laterally compressed body. Its base colour is silver. It has a black point on the tail stem, which is bordered in white. Near the centre of the body is a thin, black transverse strip. They easily distinguish from other sea breams because they have no vertical black streaks.

The tail, back and anal fin have a reddish shimmering edge.

Oblada melanura is up to 34cm long and can weigh up to 0.6kg.

Habitat and Distribution

The Saddled Seabream lives over rocky or sandy ground or sea grass meadows, in depths down to 30m. It is often found in medium water depths. It is always near the coast.

When diving in the Canaries you can see it very often. There is hardly any dive without it.

Their distribution area also extends from Sweden, along the European and African coast, to Angola. They are also found around Madeira, the Azores, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

Biology & Feeding

Oblada melanura usually lives in open swarms, in medium depth. At the time of reproduction, they stay close to the seabed.

The diet of the Saddled Seabreams consists of crustaceans, tunicate, small fishes, mollusc larvae, algae and fish eggs.

Usually, the species has separated sexes. Only some individuals are protogynous hermaphrodites. In addition, all individuals above 29.3cm are female.

The Saddled Seabream can be up to 11 years old.

Sources & Links

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