Brown meagre (Sciaena umbra)
Brown meagre is one of the most beautiful fish in the Mediterranean Sea. This fish of the Sciaenidae family lives in the rocky bottoms full of holes and craves. It is a nocturnal species, even if often during the day we can meet it closely of its hole together with other specimens of its own size. Brown meagre Sciaena umbra Corb Corvina Sciaenidae intotheblue.it
Unfortunately, this fish is increasingly rare in the Mediterranean Sea, the causes are both indiscriminate fishing by divers and the ever increasing anthropization of our coasts which threatens its ideal habitat.
We can find Brown meagre on depths of a few meters up to -200 meters deep, as long as the seabed is rocky and jagged. To approach this fish without hooking it and making it flee, you need to be quite trained freedivers, not so much for the possibility of going deep, but for the possibility of being able to meet it without emitting noises and without frightening it.
If it is practically impossible to meet the fish during scuba dive, while in apnea the possibilities increase and often they approach the diver with curiosity showing all the colors of their livery and all the elegance and beauty of this species.
The brown meagre is between 30 to 40 cm in length but can grow to 60 cm. It has a flat belly and its strongly arched back which give it an easily recognisable shape, the body is laterally compressed and the large, horizontal mouth reaches the level of the eye and contains villiform teeth. The anal and pelvic fins are black with an anterior white border. Both dorsal fins and the truncate caudal fin, are yellow with a black border. The body is grey with flashes of gold and silver. The scales are cteniod on the nape and the body while the head scales are cycloid.
The brown meagre is found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from the southern English Channel south to Senegal and Cape Verde, including the Canary Islands, records from West Africa south of Senegal are questionable. Also in the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.
Habitat and behaviour
Brown meagre is found at depths between 5m and 200m, mainly over rocky and sandy substrates and the young enter estuarine environments. It is a rather nocturnal fish but it can occasionally be found during the day among beds of sea grass and on rocky bottoms in the vicinity of caves or large crevices where it can shelter. This species is social and lives in small groups. It feeds off the small fishes and crustaceans. They are capable of creating sound using some muscles under their well developed swim bladder. This is their way of communication since they have a very good hearing ability. They can manage their buoyancy perfectly. The spawning period is from March to August in the Mediterranean.
Brown Meagles therefore becomes an increasingly rare and difficult species to meet, in the video we can see the beauty and elegance of these fish. If you don’t frighten the Corvines in fact tend to be very curious with the sub and once taken confidence they show off their colors blue, silver,gold, with reflections ranging from violet to turquoise. It is one of the most beautiful fish in the Mediterranean and seeing and photographing these fishes in their natural environment is truly a sight that I recommend everyone to try.