MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Dicentrarchus labrax is a thick-set fish with large scales that can grow to a length of 100 cm. The flanks are silvery in colour and the fish has a black or blue back and a yellowish or white underside. Juveniles have black spots on the upper part of the body but these spots are rare on adults. Dicentrarchus labrax has two distinct dorsal fins, the first of which is spiny with 8 or 9 spines. The head is moderately pointed and the pre-operculum (gill cover) has a row of forward pointing denticles on the lower edge. Young bass tend to school together, however, the adults are more likely to be found in smaller numbers.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded from the Scottish, English and Welsh coast with more records from south and west coasts but few records from Ireland. However Dicentrarchus labrax is likely to be present around all coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Dicentrarchus labrax is a demersal fish present in the littoral zone over most substrata usually only to 10 m in depth but have been caught at depths of 70 m. The bass is predominantly a marine fish but are found in brackish water and in summer months enter estuaries and can penetrate some way up rivers.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Two dorsal fins entirely separate from one another, tail fin emarginate.
  • First dorsal fin spiny with eight or nine spines.
  • 57-65 scales along lateral line.
  • Grey or blue back with yellowish or white belly.
  • Silvery fish with large scales that grows up to 100 cm in length.
  • Juveniles often have black spots.

Additional information

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. FishBase, 2000. FishBase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2001-05-03

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  3. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  4. MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network), 2005. SEArchable BEnthic Data (SEABED) Map [on-line]. Data Access Sub-programme, Marine Life Information Network for Britian and Ireland http://www.marlin.ac.uk,

  5. Naylor, P., 2000. Marine Animals of the South West. Plymouth: Sound Diving Publications

  6. Wheeler, A., 1969. The fishes of the British Isles and north-west Europe. London: Macmillan.

  7. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Datasets

  1. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Dorset Environmental Records Centre, 2017. Dorset SSSI Species Records 1952 - 2004 (Natural England). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/vcjzts accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  4. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/7axhcw accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  5. Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre, 2017. Fish: Records for Kent.. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/kd1utk accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  6. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  7. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  8. Merseyside BioBank., 2018. Merseyside BioBank (unverified). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/iou2ld accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  10. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. National Trust, 2018. Sutton Hoo species data held by The National Trust. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/4etkkx accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  12. Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, 2017. NBIS Records to December 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jca5lo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  13. North East Scotland Biological Records Centre, 2017. NE Scotland fish records 1800-2010. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/kjrwnd accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  14. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-10-21

  15. Record, 2018. RECORD Freshwater Fish Data. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/m5tosv accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01

  16. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Fish (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/htsfiy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  17. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. Dr Mary Gillham Archive Project. Occurance dataset: http://www.sewbrec.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-02

  18. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service., 2017. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service (SBIS) Dataset. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ab4vwo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  19. West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre, 2017. WTSWW Data: All Taxa (West Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/gaakk2 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Reeve, A. 2007. Dicentrarchus labrax Bass. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-10-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2127

Last Updated: 31/08/2007