Black ruff

Centrolophus niger family

Centrolophidae taxonomy

Perca nigra Gmelin, 1788, eastern Atlantic. other common names

English: Blackfish; French: Centrolophe noir; German: Schwarzfisch; Spanish: Romerillo.

physical characteristics

Length 43.3 in (110 cm). Elongate, with a rather small head and large eyes; continuous dorsal fin extends most of the length of the body (with 4-5 weak spines and 32-38 rays); anal fin with 3 spines and 20-27 rays; pelvic fins small, under pectorals; pectorals with 19-23 rays; caudal fin weakly forked; mouth rather wide, extending posteriorly beneath eyes; coloration dark bluish gray, but sometimes darker.

distribution

Western (from Nova Scotia to New Jersey) and eastern North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and also the Pacific Ocean off Australia, New Zealand, and South America.

habitat

Temperate oceanic waters. Young specimens occur near surface; larger individuals are mesopelagic. Specimens have been captured as deep as 1,968 ft (600 m) off Australia and New Zealand.

behavior

Little is known concerning its behavior. Small specimens have been found in association with jellyfishes, but adults may form schools.

feeding ecology and diet

Feeds on jellyfishes, squids, and different kinds of crustaceans. Preyed on by hake and possibly other larger fishes.

reproductive biology

Eggs and larvae are pelagic; eggs are spherical, small (0.05 in/0.12 cm in diameter) and contain a single oil globule. Hatching occurs at about 0.16 in (0.4 cm) standard length, flexion at 0.2 in (0.6 cm), adult body form attained at 0.7 in (1.7 cm). Growth reported to be relatively fast. Probably a broadcast spawner.

conservation status

Not threatened.

significance to humans

Not significantly consumed and therefore of minor importance. ♦

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