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Species Guide » 21. Bony fishes » Aphia minuta ca / es

Scientific name: Aphia minuta

(Risso, 1810)

Common Name: Cat: Xanguet, carmelo ros, jonqueti, llengüeta, rosetí. Cast: Chanquete; Ang: Transparent goby. Fr: Nonnat. It: Rossetto

Group: 21. Bony fishes

Area type: Sand dive, Shallow dive

Depth: Up to 70 m

Measures: 4 - 6 cm

What is it like?

Fish with a compressed body, flattened laterally, transparent, more or less yellowish pink. They have pigment cells (chromatophores) that give them color on the head and around the area where the pectoral fins are inserted. It has two dorsal fins. The mouth is large. In males, the head is larger, the pelvic fins are more developed and the body is taller. Females are smaller.


Where does it live?

It is found on the Atlantic coasts (from Morocco to Norway) and throughout the Mediterranean. It is quite common, coastal, even in estuaries. It lives in shoals in the open sea, above soft bottoms; it is only found on the bottom during the breeding season.


How does it feed?

It feeds on zooplankton, especially copepods and crustacean larvae.


How does it reproduce?

It reaches sexual maturity during the first year of life. It reproduces between April and May on the Mediterranean coast and dies immediately after spawning.


Is a confusion possible?

One of the more or less related species is the glass goby, Chrystallogobius linearis, another nektonic goby, from which it differs mainly because the latter species has no scales and the first dorsal fin has fewer spiny rays.



· It is one of the few species of gobies that are permanently nektonic, which means animals whose size and motility allows them to swim freely and independently of water currents.

· In Spain it is a particullarly valued species, which can achieve really exorbitant prices. There are frequent frauds when other species are sold as if they were A.minuta.

· The original name of this species was Atherina minuta, although it is not anymore the accepted name.



Phylum: Chordata, Subphylum: Vertebrata, Infraphylum: Gnathostomata, Class: Osteichthyes, Subclass: Actinopterygii, Ordre: Perciformes, Family: Gobiidae, Genus: Aphia

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