Breams, Porgies, Seabreams
Compiler and date details
31 January 2012 - Dianne J. Bray, Douglass F. Hoese & John R. Paxton
December 2006 - Dianne J. Bray, Douglass F. Hoese & John R. Paxton
In Australia, members of the Sparidae are usually referred to as bream or snappers, and many are fished commercially. In particular, Pagrus auratus, a snapper, is highly prized. Sparids occur in shallow coastal or offshore continental shelf waters in tropical and temperate seas worldwide. The family is characterised by the presence of molariform teeth. Species are medium sized, with the largest about 1.3 m in length.
Currently, 33 genera and at least 110 species are recognised, with much revision required at the generic level (Carpenter pers. comm.). Six genera and 10 species are known from Australia. Most of the tropical species are treated in Carpenter (2001).
The genus Chrysoblephus Swainson, 1839 has sometimes been recorded from Australia based on the tentative McCulloch (1929) record of Sparus gibbiceps (Valenciennes, 1830) (now referred to as Chrysoblephus gibbiceps). However, no specimens of this western Indian Ocean species have been found in Australian waters.
Members of the genus Pagrus were referred to Chrysophrys in Australia and New Zealand, until Chrysophrys was synonymised with Pagrus by Paulin (1990). Johnson (1980) discussed relationships of the family. Molecular work (Day 2002; Orrelll et al. 2002; Orrell & Carpenter 2004; Chiba et al. 2009) has questioned the monophyly of the subfamilies and genera within the family, including Acanthopagrus and Pagrus. Mitochondrial DNA suggested more similarity between Pagrus australis and Evynnis from Japan and Argyrops. However many of these studies have not agreed with morphological classifications. All studies have recommended a re-evaluation of the classification. Until that has been done we retain the existing classification. Kent Carpenter of Old Dominion University, U.S.A., who is currently revising this family, kindly provided unpublished information for this work.
Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) 2006. Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. 
Carpenter, K.E. 2001. Sparidae, Lethrinidae. pp. 2990-3050 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.
Chiba, S.N., Iwatsuki Y., Yoshino T. & Hanzawa, N. 2009. Comprehensive phylogeny of the family Sparidae (Perciformes: Teleostei) inferred from mitochondrial gene analyses. Genes and Genetic Systems 84(2): 153-170
Day, J.J. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships of the Sparidae (Teleostei: Percoidei) and implications for convergent trophic evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society of London 76(2): 269–301
Johnson, G.D. 1980. The limits and relationships of the Lutjanidae and associated families. Bulletin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography 24: 1-114 figs 1-37
McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part II. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 5: 145–329
Orrell, T.M., Carpenter, K.E., Musick, J.A. & Graves, J.E. 2002. Phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of the Sparidae (Perciformes: Percoidei) from cytochrome b sequences. Copeia 2002(3): 618-631
Orrell, T.M. & Carpenter, K.E. 2004. A phylogeny of the fish family Sparidae (porgies) inferred from mitochondrial sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 425-434
Paulin, C. 1990. Pagrus auratus, a new combination for the species known as "snapper" in Australasian waters (Pisces: Sparidae). New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 24: 259-265
Waite, E.R. 1921. Illustrated catalogue of the fishes of South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2(1): 1-208 293 figs pl. 1 [108, fig. 166]
Common Name References
Carpenter, K.E. 2001. Sparidae, Lethrinidae. pp. 2990-3050 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.  (Porgies, Seabreams)