Serranus scriba is easily recognised by its pink body with five to seven dark brown stripes, a blue stain on its belly and an orange tail.
It belongs to the family of the Serranidae, which include over 30 species such as the grouper. Its name “scriba” comes from the marks on its head that look like a labyrinth of Arabic symbols. The origin of the term “Serranus” comes from its one saw-shaped dorsal fin. Despite its imposing appearance, the painted comber rarely exceeds 25 cm in length.
Where to find it in the Region of Valencia:
It lives in shallow waters (max. 30m) on the coast of the Region of Valencia, between rocky areas and Posidonia oceanica.
It is solitary by nature, but swims with its partner in the breeding season. They are true hermaphrodites (each fish is male and female at the same time).
Photo: Serranus scriba in Benidorm. Photo by Vicente Renovell