Symphodus ocellatus (Forsskal, 1775)

Symphodus ocellatus image

Synonyms: Labrus reticulatus Lacepede, 1802; Lutjanus ocellatus Risso, 1810; Crenilabrus olovaceus Risso, 1826; Crenilabrus ocellatus Kessler, 1859.

Common names: Russ: Rulen; Turk: Circir.

Order (Scientific): PERCIFORMES.

Family (Scientific): LABRIDAE.

Taxonomic descriptions: D XIII-XV 8-11; A III 8-11; P 11-13; Scales in lateral series 30-34; Gillirakers 14-18; Vertebrae 30-32 (Stojanov and all, 1963; Svetovidov, 1964); Head length equal to or shorter than body depth. Snout shorter than post-orbital. Colour: very variable. On opercle a large spot of varying coloration outlined usually with red. Size: to 12cm.

Symphodus ocellatus arealIUCN Status:
    World level:
    Black Sea Regional level:
    Subregion level: VU (Bulgarian Coast)

Distribution: Mediterranean, Adriatic, Black Sea, Sea of Azov. In Bulgaria: rare, on the whole coast.

Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: Inshore, near rocks; chemical substances.

Biology: Reproduction: May-July. Eggs on stone or gravel. Sexually mature at 1-2 years. Food: worms, amphipods, molluscs (Quignard and Pras, 1986).

Population trends: Declining.

Threats: Industrial pollution.

Conservation measures taken: None.

Conservation measures proposed: Reduction in chemical pollution.


  1. Quingard, J. and Pras, A. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, v. II: 937-938.
  2. Svetovidov, A. 1964. The fishes of the Black Sea. Publ. House “Science”, M.-L., 550 pp.
  3. Stojanov, S. and all., 1963. The fishes in the Black Sea. Publishing house Varna, 246 pp.

Compiled by: Y.Sivkov, K.Prodanov.