Fun Gilt-head Bream Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
May 03, 2023 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde
Discover gilt-head bream facts about its habitat, appearance, and diet.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

The gilt-Head bream is a magnificent fish that is a member of the Sparidae family. The scientific name of this silver colored-fish is Sparus aurata and this fish is found in the coastal areas of the eastern North Atlantic Ocean as well as in the Mediterranean Sea.

It was known as the 'orata' in ancient times and still is called so in Italy. It is commonly known as the 'dorada' in Spain and the 'dorade' in French.

It can grow as long as 2.3 ft (70 cm) but normally is 1.15 ft (35 cm) in length.

The Dorade can reach a weight of 16.2 lb (7.3 kg). The gilt-head bream is generally agreed to be the best-tasting fish of all breams.

This fish belongs to the genus Sparus, which is the Latin word for 'fish'. It is the only species in its genus. The 'aurata' part of its name originates from one of its physical characteristics, a golden marking present between its eyes.

If you liked these facts about the gilt-head bream (Sparus aurata), then we suggest you keep reading to get to know more about this wonderful fish! If you want to read more animal facts like these, read our animal articles about the blue marlin and the John Dory fish too.

Gilt-Head Bream Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a gilt-head bream?

The gilt-head bream is a fish of the family Sparidae and has a Latin name, Sparus aurata.

What class of animal does a gilt-head bream belong to?

The gilt-head bream belongs to the class Actinopterygii.

How many gilt-head breams are there in the world?

The population of the gilt-head bream in the world is not yet evaluated. However, we do know that in 2008, their population in European aquaculture reached 128,943. However, these fish in aquaculture can be harmed by parasitic infection.

Where does a gilt-head bream live?

This species is found in warm-temperate waters near sandy bottoms as well as in seagrass. They can also be spotted in surf zones. This bream species is found across the coastal areas of the eastern North Atlantic Ocean as well as in the Mediterranean Sea.

What is a gilt-head bream's habitat?

The gilt-head bream (Sparus aurata) swims over the sandy bottom or close to seagrass beds at a depth of 2-98.4 ft (0-30 m). However, it can swim up to a depth of 492 ft (150 m)!

They are known to live in estuaries as well as coastal lagoons and newborns can be seen residing in brackish water that has a warm temperature.

Who do gilt-head breams live with?

This fish has been observed swimming either alone or in schools of fish. These schools of fish swim through certain places, following a route that is different for each season.

How long does a gilt-head bream live?

The Dorada (this fish's common name in Spain) can live as long as 11 years!

How do they reproduce?

These fish are hermaphrodites! The Orata (this fish's common name in Italy) has different maturity ages for females and males. A male Orata reaches maturity at the age of two years whereas a female Orata reaches maturity at the age of three years.

Their spawning period starts at December end or in the initial weeks of January. The egg cells are released over three to four months.

A female gilt-head bream can spawn up to two times her body weight through several spawnings of eggs. Multiple spawning causes weight loss in females which takes multiple months to be re-gained. She can lay 20,000-80,000 eggs in the spawning period!

What is their conservation status?

As per the IUCN's Red List of Endangered species, they have a Least Concern conservation status.

Gilt-Head Bream Fun Facts

What do gilt-head breams look like?

These Dorada fish (common name in Spain) are silver in color and have a striking golden marking across the middle, in between their eyes. They have an oval body with a metallic glow all over them. Their head is curved with their mouth positioned quite low.

There is a reddish region at the underside. There is a dark-colored line on either side of its body with a dark-colored band on the dorsal fin. Their caudal fin's tips are black colored.

How cute are they?

These are quite cute marine creatures. They are magnificent to the eye because of their majestic appearance. They have an overall silver shade with a touch of gold. They are commonly also called the 'royal bream', perhaps thanks to this golden shine.

How do they communicate?

Gilthead seabreams communicate with each other by contracting their sonic muscles which excites their swim bladder, producing pulsing and knocking noises.

How big is a gilt-head bream?

The gilthead seabream has a length ranging between 10.2-27.5 in (26-70 cm). They are half the size of the common dolphin.

How fast can a gilt-head bream swim?

The Gilt-head seabream can swim at very fast speeds, with its velocity being usually half of its body's length per second. If attacked, their speed can increase by seven times!

How much does a gilt-head bream weigh?

The gilthead sea bream weighs in between the range of 10.5-141 oz (400-4000g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no particular name for this fish according to gender.

What would you call a baby gilt-head bream?

A baby gilthead seabream can be called a fry.

What do they eat?

This fish, Sparus aurata, feeds upon shellfish mainly. Although, sometimes it may feed upon plant material too. These Mediterranean sea creatures are preyed upon by the great cormorant.

Are they eaten by humans?

Yes, they are eaten by humans and are admired highly thanks to their deliciousness. The gilthead seabream tastes delicious and is of the perfect size. It is amazing seafood loved by people in Europe especially.

Would they make a good pet?

These fish are kept in captivity by humans, known as aquaculture. There is no known instance of it being kept as a pet at home. They are usually farmed.

Did you know...

The gilthead seabream is a highly admired food fish that is caught in the Mediterranean Sea in between the range of 6100-9600 tonnes. It is used to a great extent in Mediterranean cooking.

Do people eat gilt-head bream?

Yes, the gilt-head bream is commonly consumed by humans. The Dorade is regarded as the bream that tastes the best. They are cooked as a whole as they aren't massive in size.

This gilt head bream taste is sweet with the texture of the flesh being quite soft, juicy, and delicate. The content of oil in this flesh is medium.

It is widely prepared in countries in northern Europe and is considered delicious due to its moist flesh. It is a quite healthy food as it is rich in vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and it is very low in saturated fats. It is usually a pan-friend when consumed.

Are breams the same as Dorado fish?

No, the Dorado (common dolphinfish) and breams are not the same. Dorado fish is twice the size of the gilthead bream.

Both of these fish have a metallic shade, with the common dolphinfish being a golden shade and the gilthead seabream being a silver shade. However, this gilt-head fish is also known as a dorado commonly in Spain, which is where this confusion probably stems from.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these striped marlin facts and Indian mackerel facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Gilt head bream coloring pages.

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit Shinde picture

Ankit ShindeBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit is a Journalism and Mass Media graduate from the University of Mumbai. With experience in SEO, blog and article writing, and fiction writing, he is a versatile writer and content creator. In his free time, Ankit enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music.

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