Salema (Boops Salpa)

Latin name: Boops salpa
Common name: Salema
Other names: Sarpa salpa, box salpa, saupe
In other languages: E: Salema, F: Saupe, D: Goldstrieme
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Sparidae
Genus: Boops

Distribution: Mediterranean, Atlantic.

Habitat: Among rocks and seaweeds, very close to the shore, from the surface down to 20 metres and very rarely any deeper.

Behaviour: This schooling fish grazes on algae found on rocks close to the shore or harbour walls. It is easily seen and moves in very tightly packed shoals that are well regimented and move as one when not feeding. It makes an audible clicking sound whilst feeding that is akin to continuous chatter in a crowded place. When schooling, this clicking is heard only when the school changes direction.

Diet: Algae and small crustaceans.

Size: Common: 12 - 30cm, maximum: 51cm.

Colour: Grey in colour with golden horizontal stripes that reflect surface light in the shallows very easily.

Did you know? Below the water this fish is very easily studied and quite easy to follow. From the surface people in marinas around the Mediterranean feed bread to these fish by hand.