Twobar seabream
(Acanthopagrus bifasciatus)


Species: Acanthopagrus bifasciatus

General data

Scientific names: Twobar seabream
Habitat: Saltwater
Climate: Tropical
Native to coasts of: Africa, Asia

Acanthopagrus bifasciatus, the twobar seabream, is a species of marine ray-finned fish belonging to the family Sparidae, the sea breams and porgies. This species is found in the northwestern Indian Ocean.

Acanthopagrus bifasciatus has 11 spines and between 12 and 15 soft rays supporting the dorsal fin while the anal fin is supported by 3 spines and 10 or 11 soft rays. It has a compressed, rather deep body which has a depth that fits into its standard length between 2.4 and 2.6 times. The dorsal profile of the head is straight from the snout until just past the eyes where it is slightly humped up to the origin of the dorsal fin.

The background colour of the body is silvery, frequently each scale on the body has a black spot in its middle. There are two obvious dusky bars on the head, one from the occipital through the eye and across the cheek to the back of the rear of the maxilla and the other from the nape across the operculum. The pectoral, dorsal and caudal fins are light yellow, the spiny part of the dorsal fin being its most yellow towards the fin margin. Typically they have no black on the fin margins, although the caudal fin may have a thin black margin.

May reach a standard length of around 60 cm (24 in).

Acanthopagrus bifasciatus is restricted to the northwestern Indian Ocean where it is found in the Red Sea around the Arabian Peninsula into the Persian Gulf and east to Pakistan.

There have been three records of A. bifasciatus from the Mediterranean Sea, the first off Tunisia in 2010, the second off Barcelona in 2019 and the third in the Aegean Sea off Turkey, these are thought to have reached the Mediterranean Sea via ships. The twobar seabream is found on reefs in shallow inshore waters at depth between 2 and 30 m (6 ft 7 in and 98 ft 5 in).

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