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Rocky Habitats

The rocky bottom is part of the infralittoral steps of the Adriatic, which spreads from the intertidal zone to the depth of thirty metres and is permanently covered by seawater. Preconditions of shaping a rocky habitat are strong sea currents and the biogenic hardening of the seabed which form the basis of this community.

(Octopus vulgaris, Cuvier, 1797)


The life cycle of the octopus is short, from 12 to 15 months, sometimes up to two years. Due to them being cold-blooded animals, they spend their winters in sandy seabeds in the open sea at a depth from 80-100 m. During the summer, due to high temperatures, they leave the rocky coastal areas and retreat to deeper waters. Females reach sexual maturity at a weight of 600 to 1700 g and a size of 12 cm, while males reach sexual maturity at 350 g and a size of 10 cm.

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Octopuses have the ability to quickly change the colour of their body thanks to cells located in their skin (chromatophores) which can expand and contract in a few seconds. Colour changes of octopuses are connected with stress or their mood; when they are scared, they lose colour and become paler; when angry, they become red or even black. When they are relaxed, they are brown in colour, and when they sleep, they are yellowish. It is interesting to note that they sleep with their eyes open, only narrowing their pupils.

(Sparus aurata, Line, 1758)

Gilt-headed bream

The gilt-headed bream is one of the most represented cage-bred species and is unique in that it has a strong and well-developed jaw with multiple rows of teeth, which make crushing bivalves and molluscs easier. Its lifespan is 11 years, its maximum length is 70 cm (on average, it grows to about 33-40 cm) and its maximum weight is 17 kg. It is a hermaphrodite which changes its sex during its lifetime (so-called protandric hermaphroditism), which is why we call it the “queen of the sea”, as all larger individuals are female.

(Dicentrarchus labrax, Line, 1758)

European bass

Another Croatian name for the European bass is “lubin” from the Latin “lupus”, meaning wolf, which depicts it as a predatory fish. It has a long jaw filled with sharp teeth for catching fast and mobile prey. It feeds primarily on crustaceans, shrimp, molluscs and fish. Males reach sexual maturity at two years of age or when they are between 23 to 30 cm long, females at around 3-4 years of age or between 31 to 40 cm in length.

(Diplodus vulgaris, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

Common two-banded sea bream

The most numerous fish in rocky habitats, which has two black spots; on its gill flap and next to its tail fin. As with all species from the Sparidae family, it is a hermaphrodite which changes its sex based on size. It is spread out along the entire coastal belt of the Adriatic and can most commonly be found off the western coast of Istria. It can grow up to 45 cm and weigh 1.3 kg.

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