One of the largest marine reserves in the Mediterranean

Sotamar

Cadaqués

The center

Facilities

Reception

Locker room (>50 m2)

Hot water showers

Gear cleaning and storage area

Classrooms with capacity up to 20 people (>30m2)

Projection equipment and screens

Specialized video and book library

Air filling station

Gear repair shop

Gear transportation to the embarking point (5 min walk from facilities)

Store

GoPro

Mares

Aqualung

Aqua Sphere

Head

Apeks

Tecnomar

Slam

IQ

Les Trois Mars

Kanumera

You will also find everything you need for professional diving practice

Boats

“Mireia Primera”

“Anna Petita”

“Nova Elisenda”

7.5 meters long semi-rigid inflatable boats

Motor: 150 CV

Capacity: 16 people

Equipped with VHF radio, mobile and oxygen

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Immersions

La Massa D'Or – Maximum depth: 30-60 m. Level: Advanced.

It is one of the most spectacular immersions in the area, but also of high difficulty due to the depth and the strong currents from the open sea. It is common to see dusky grouper, white sea bream, gilthead sea bream, and shoals of barracuda or tuna. The maximum depth varies between 30 and 60 meters.

Cova de l'Infern – Maximum depth: 24 m. Level: All.

Rocky cavity located underneath the lighthouse of Cap de Creus. It is an immersion suitable for all diving levels, where the maximum depth reached is 24 meters. The cave has an opening to the surface and a depth of 10 meters. In its interior it is possible to see walls covered by gorgonias, shoals of Atlantic pomfrets and swallowtail seaperch, octopuses hidden in the rocks, and some dusky grouper.

Cala Jugadora – Maximum depth: 42 m. Level: All.

Immersion where the maximum depth reached is 42 meters. Its bottoms are covered by Posidonia meadows, and on this trip it is possible to see forests of white gorgonias, zebra seabream or even spot some sunfish. In the deepest areas, large-scaled scorpionfish, conger eels, fork beard, and red coral can be seen.

Es Forcats – Maximum depth: 55 m. Level: All.

At the entrance of Cala Jugadora, there is a set of islets that offer different immersion itineraries. Reaching the bottom we find a rocky formation, rich in red coral and nudibranchs.

Through a series of canals it is possible to descend down to 55 meters and spot the largest lobsters in Cap de Creus.

Ses Orgues – Maximum depth: 40 m. Level: All.

In this immersion area it is easy to reach 40 meters of depth through a precoralline passage, and then arrive to a coralline mountain range with abundant red coral.

The predominant fauna consists of lobster, large-scaled scorpionfish, moray eels, conger eels, and dusky grouper. With some luck it is also possible to see seahorses.

Ses Ielles – Maximum depth: 24-40 m. Level: All.

Immersion spot that presents different itineraries adapted to the diver level.

On one hand, beginner divers can go descend around the islet to a depth of 24 meters and enjoy the precoralline walls covered by algae. On the other hand, more experienced divers can plunge deeper following the rocky end down to 40 meters, where there are diverse coralline platforms, abundant invertebrate fauna, as well as dusky grouper, fork beard, conger eels, and large-scaled scorpionfish.

Cala Bona. El Tregastel – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: Advanced.

A French steamboat sunk in 1938. The ship’s remains, located between 25 and 30 meters deep, can be traversed from stern to prow exploring every corner. It is possible to see moray eels, conger eels, lobster, nudibranchs, fork beard, large-scaled scorpionfish, Atlantic pomfrets, red mullet, and white sea bream.

Around the shipwreck there are walls full of coral and a cave with precoralline walls covered by sponges.

Illa Messina – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: All.

Encompasses an area where it is possible to perform different immersions for all diving levels, with a maximum depth of 30 meters. The most remarkable feature is the presence of open sea species such as tuna, European barracuda, and greater amberjacks.

Es Caials. El Llanishen – Maximum depth: 19 m. Level: Intermediate - Advanced.

The Llanishen is an English steamboat that was sunk by a German submarine attack in 1917. Since this area is accessed from the shore, the first meters at a shallow depth allow for the observation of a Posidonia meadow, full of wrasse, mullet, and shoals of cow bream.

At 14 meters depth, the shipwreck can be spotted, and in its surroundings it is possible to see marbled electric rays, zebra seabream, common dentex and even some monkfish during their reproductive season.

Es Cucurucuc – Maximum depth: 21 m. Level: All.

Immersion in the southern slope of the Es Cucurucuc islet, located at the entrance of Cadaqués bay.

Es Cucurucuc de Sa Cebolla – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: All.

This immersion follows the end of the islet until reaching coralline bottoms, down to a maximum depth of 30 meters. The itinerary includes many holes and cavities that allow you to discover lobster, moray eels, etc.

Punta de Sa Figuera – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: All.

The anchor is dropped at the center of the inlet and, heading south, the underwater crest of the cape is followed. In this immersion the maximum depth is 30 meters.

El Pelegrí – Maximum depth: 40 m. Level: All.

This area is suitable for different multilevel immersions. The most remarkable feature is the presence of the Pelegrí cave at 8 meters deep. In its interior it is possible to see large-scaled scorpionfish and a cavity covered by many multicolored sponges.

The final section of the cave is really interesting as it is full of fork beard and cardinalfish. Moving further offshore, there are walls with extraordinary rocky formations, covered in red coral.

La Reparada – Maximum depth: 50 m. Level: Advanced.

Vertical rocky slope, where it is easy to reach 30-35 meters deep. Progressively, along the descent, it is possible to see the evolution of the landscape from precollarine with white gorgonias to striking coralline rocks with abundant red coral. Among the fauna, highlights include: conger eels, lobster, moray eels, swallowtail seaperch and fork beard.

El Clot del Boc – Maximum depth: 30-35 m. Level: Intermediate.

Located in front of Cala Jòncols, this immersion heads to the submarine mountain range of Cap Norfeu. It is possible to find dusky grouper, small red scorpionfish and some slabs with red coral. The maximum depth reached is 30-35 meters.

Cova de Tamariu – Maximum depth: 25 m. Level: All.

The bottom is composed of big blocks of rock with cavities where it is possible to find lobster, conger eels, moray eels and nudibranchs. The maximum depth is 25 meters.

El Gat – Maximum depth: 48 m. Level: All.

Also known as Cavall Bernat, it is the easternmost end of Cap Norfeu. Three sectors can be distinguished according to different depths.

The first one, located on the southern slope, is characterized by a sheltered platform between 3 and 15 meters, ideal for beginners. The second sector consists in a platform made of smaller rocks with a maximum depth of 24-27 meters. At the end of the area there is a coral barrier and cliffs that descend sharply. The third sector, on the northern side, presents depths between 24 and 48 meters. Great walls covered with coral and gorgonias can be observed. Among the fauna, highlights include: conger eels, moray eels and, occasionally, sunfish, rays, barracuda and garfish.

Xaloc Dive

L’Estartit

The center

Facilities

Reception

Locker room (>50 m2)

Hot water showers

Gear cleaning and storage area

Classrooms

Projection equipment and screens

Air filling station

Gear repair shop

Gear transportation to the embarking point (5 min walk from facilities)

Store

Scubapro

Beuchat

Apeks

Aqualung

Bare

Dive Rite

Green Force

Boat

11 meter long Quer

Motor: inboard Mercruiser 320 CV

Capacidad: 25 people + 2 crew

Equipped with VHF radio, sounder, GPS, beacon, First Aid kit and Oxygen kit

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Immersions

Costa del Montgrí

El Marmoler – Maximum depth: 44 m. Level: Advanced.

It is the only whole shipwreck in the Costa Brava at an accessible diving depth. The shipwreck lies with the hull keeled over 43 and 44 meters, although some stern structures reach 37 meters. It is often surrounded by muddy waters where the presence of currents is common. It takes more than one visit to complete the three sectors (prow, stern and holds). Inside the ship gaps it is usual to find conger eels and lobster. It is an immersion reserved for experienced divers.

Coves del Milà – Maximum depth: 25 m. Level: Intermediate.

Interesting series of underwater caves, with a total tour of more than 200 meters and three air chambers. The maximum depth reached is about 25 meters, which combined with the absence of narrow paths or complex branches makes it suitable for advanced diving courses practices or for introduction into underwater cave diving. Inside its tunnels is common to find lobster and colorful nudibranchs. It is also a suitable area for snorkeling.

Cova de les Vetes – Maximum depth: 21 m. Level: Intermediate.

Attractive set of underwater caves. The biggest one has the largest air chamber (where stalactites can be observed) in this coastal sector. Its dimensions exceed 40 meters long and 20 meters width, with the ceiling elevating over the surface between 6 and 12 meters high. The whole tour is full of attractive geological formations.

Those unwilling to get into the caves can visit, southeast of the air chamber entrance, a little maze of passages full of coral, over 18 meters deep.

Illa Ferriol – Maximum depth: 26 m. Level: All.

It has an underwater tunnel more than 25 meters long and, in some sections, more than 15 meters wide. Ideal for beginners in cave diving. Furthermore, there is a series of little rocks in the north interior area, at shallow depth, where white gorgonias, red coral and lobster can be observed. The maximum depth reached is 26 meters.

Reggio Messina – Maximum depth: 33 m. Level: Advanced.

Shipwreck broken in three fragments (stern, central area and prow). The stern is the largest and best-preserved part, since it remains vertical and barely keeled to starboard at around 33 meters deep. The central section, between 20 and 32 meters deep, is very deteriorated. Finally, the prow, also very damaged and with its end upside down towards the surface, draws shoals of brown meagre, dusky grouper, etc. Paramuricea gorgonias grow at some points of the hull, at around 29 meters deep. This immersion is aimed at experienced divers due to the shipwreck’s state of preservation and the presence of currents.

Illa Pedrosa – Maximum depth: 38 m. Level: All.

This island forms a steep wall that falls down under 20 meters deep. The southern bottoms of the island combine rocks, sand and Posidonia at depths between 4 and 10 meters. In the eastern end of the island levels between 25 and 38 meters can be reached, with a landscape of great rocky blocks and abundant colonies of red coral, lobster, small red scorpionfish, and some conger eels.

Furthermore, there is a submarine tunnel about 60 meters long without complex branches. The fauna inside the tunnel includes slipper lobster, lobster, conger eels, and some moray eels in the outer area.

Puig de la Sardina – Maximum depth: 40 m. Level: Advanced.

Underwater rocky masses consisting in three summits whose peaks are at 14, 22 and 27 meters deep. In the eastern slope, walls are covered with yellow gorgonias among which damselfish, swallowtail seaperch, white sea bream, small red scorpionfish, some moray eels and many nudibranchs swim. The maximum level is about 40 meters, even though is not necessary to descend that much to enjoy a nice immersion (around 30 meters). Nevertheless, these depths, combined with currents, results in an immersion suitable only for experienced divers.

Negre del Falaguer – Maximum depth: 21 m. Level: All.

It is a corner that allows for a quiet diving while also protecting from the wind on days when Tramontana blows. An abundant fauna, where seahorses and octopuses stand out, can be discovered without reaching an excessive depth (maximum of 21 meters).

Negre del Falaguer is a black color entering in the cliff’s rock, with small stalactites and where a tunnel, whose entrance is partially visible from the surface, also exists. This area is suitable for snorkeling.

Punta Salines – Maximum depth: 28 m. Level: All.

A land spit projected around 200 meters into the sea. Immersion without navigation difficulties that is suitable for all divers. The reached depth varies between 20 and 28 meters.

Different series of rock sets can be observed at the eastern end, where it is possible to enjoy an attractive and thriving coralline landscape full of red and yellow gorgonias, lobster and dusky grouper.

Illes Medes

Punta del Guix – Maximum depth: 20 m. Level: All.

Spot that can be recognized by a small gypsum outcrop (guix means gypsum in Catalan), located among the rocks and blocks of different size that cover the rocky slope of the sea bottom, where it is possible to find some Posidonia prairies. This area is mostly inhabited by cow bream, common two-banded seabream, thicklip grey mullet, European seabass, large-sized dusky grouper, conger eels, etc. The maximum depth reached is 20 meters and, in general, it is a quiet immersion suitable for beginner divers.

Salpatxot – Maximum depth: 29 m. Level: All.

Small islet located in the northwestern end of the Meda Gran island, that allows for different itineraries for all levels. The bottom next to the coast is formed by blocks of different sizes that, at shallow depths, are covered by green algae and precoralline, and, at greater depths, by Posidonia over sandy bottom. In these areas it is possible to observe thicklip grey mullet, European seabass, common two-banded seabream, and lobster.

Heading east, we find a rocky platform where white, yellow and red gorgonias grow. It ends in a drop-off (at 29 meters deep) full of coralline with red coral, lobster, etc.

The Frenchman's Quay – Maximum depth: 15 m. Level: All.

Immersion that reaches a maximum depth of 15 meters, therefore it is suitable for beginners. Despite being a shady area, it shows abundant flora and fauna, among which red algae (Lithophyllum family), oysters and cow bream stand out. Furthermore, a shallow cave covered by sponges and submerged blocks also covered by coral and white gorgonias. All of that turns this area into an ideal site for snorkeling.

Pedra del Déu – Maximum depth: 45 m. Level: Advanced.

Small rock that sticks out a meter above the surface in the northeast end of the Meda Gran island. Beneath the sea it hides a spectacular wall, where from 15 meters on, we can observe red and yellow gorgonias surrounded by shoals of swallowtail seaperch. All along the descent there are boreholes filled with red coral, often inhabited by lobster. Heading north, the wall’s underwater drop gets interrupted at around 30 to 36 meters by a small plateau brimming with red and yellow gorgonias.

The juncture of the north and east slope defines a sharp edge that drops down to the sand and detritus bottom, at 45 meters of depth, where some yellow Axinella sponges can be observed. Over this plain arise a series of isolated rocks covered by an abundant coralline community.

The greatest attraction in this immersion for advanced divers is an underwater cave, located at 40 meters. The interior walls form entrances and shelves where is common to find lobster.

Pota del Llop – Maximum depth: 50 m. Level: Intermediate - Advanced.

Located in the eastern cliff area of Meda Gran island, its vertical walls can exceed over 50 meters below the surface. From 20 meters on, yellow and red gorgonias cover the slope down to 40 meters, where many white gorgonias and yellow sponges (Axinella) progressively appear due to the predominant detrital environment. It is also frequent to observe fork beard and large dusky grouper.

The presence of two submarine tunnels located at 30 and 48 meters represents an extra attraction for experts in cave diving at great depth.

La Vaca – Maximum depth: 36 m. Level: Intermediate.

The Cova de la Vaca (Cow’s Cave) is an underwater tunnel located at the eastern end of the Meda Gran island. Its great luminosity and vast dimensions, adorned with openings at different levels, create an incredible play of light that act as a lure for beginning cave divers. The whole area is inhabited by large groups of common two-banded seabream and often large dusky grouper.

The southern entrance of the tunnel, located between 10 and 19 meters deep, has two great openings separated by an ample column; meanwhile, the northern entrance has a huge opening with its base at 25 meters.

The fauna and flora of this immersion is especially abundant: yellow and white gorgonias over the entrance walls; different kinds of crustaceans (prawns, lobsters, etc.), conger eels, and large dusky grouper semi-hidden in the nooks; also groups of brown meagre and shoals of common two-banded seabream, swimming together.

La Reina – Maximum depth: 23 m. Level: All.

It is a simple immersion where navigation is not complicated. Two elements stand out here: a series of rocky spits where yellow and white gorgonias grow; and a remarkable rock arch at 19 meters of depth. The visible fauna in this area is similar to that of the rest of immersions in the archipelago.

Coves del Dofí – Maximum depth: 25 m. Level: Intermediate - Advanced.

Along the shores of the Meda Petita island an interesting series of caves and underwater tunnels are located. It is known as Cova del Dofí (Dolphin’s Cave) due to the presence of a small dolphin statue at the Túnel Corto (Short Tunnel) entrance. This tunnel is well illuminated, with a length of 15 meters and enough diameter to allow several divers to pass through. Near the statue, a large chamber known as The Cathedral is located.

From here, through a 50-meter long passage (at whose end there is a great open chamber), it is possible to reach the Túnel Largo (Long Tunnel). At 75 meters long, it is filled with spiral tubeworms, white sponges, ascidians and madrepores, and it is possible to spot crustaceans (Mysidacea, shrimps, crabs, etc.), conger eels, dusky grouper and even Leopard-spotted goby. The maximum depth that can be reached is 25 meters, and it is an immersion suitable for intermediate-advanced divers.

Ferrenelles – Maximum depth: 25 m. Level: All.

This immersion is extraordinarily rich in marine fauna, with stand out species including large dusky grouper, common eagle rays, thicklip grey mullet, and some European seabass and moray eels. The bottom, with a maximum depth of 25 meters, consists in a rocky slope, covered by gravel and sand, where Posidonia grows.

Tascons – Maximum depth: 43 m. Level: All.

Sector located between the Tascons Petits, the Tascon Grossos and the Carall Bernat islets. It has a great concentration of fish. Its bottom has blocks covered by algae and rocks where red and yellow gorgonias grow. Due to its shallow depth, it is ideal for all diving levels.

For the most experienced divers, south of Tascó Petit, there is an spectacular vertical wall, that descends down to 43 meters, brimming with red and yellow gorgonias, red coral, lobster, fork beard, brown meagre and nudibranchs (especially during reproductive season).

All around Tascó Gros, there is an area rich in dusky grouper, moray eels, European seabass, brown meagre, common dentex, etc., and, with a little bit of luck, it is possible to spot common eagle rays.

Carall Bernat – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: All.

The area that surrounds this islet has varying depths and this allows adapting the immersion to different experience levels. It is possible to enjoy the rich marine fauna, which include moray eels, brown meagre, common dentex, zebra seabream, and dusky grouper. Furthermore, the passage located between this islet and the Tascó Gros contains different caves and tunnels. The exploration of these cavities reveals red coral colonies, fork beard and dusky grouper. The only element that has to be taken into account is the possible presence of currents, which have the benefit of sometimes attracting groups of common eagle rays.

Raya’s Diving

Tossa de Mar

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Immersions

Na Bosca – Maximum depth: 21 m. Level: All.

An easy immersion in an area protected from winds and currents, suitable for divers of all levels. The maximum depth reached is around 21 meters, where the bottom has Posidonia and abundant noble pen shells.

The most significant element is the presence of a sand canyon that goes through the underwater mountain range. Inside this canyon is possible to see common two-banded seabream, white sea bream, common dentex, conger eels, moray eels, small red scorpionfish, nudibranchs, etc. Occasionally it is possible to see common eagle rays or undulate rays.

Illa de Tossa – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: All.

This immersion is suitable for all divers as two different itineraries exist. In the first one, a maximum depth of 24 meters can be reached while observing the canyons on the vertical wall. The second itinerary is for experienced divers, and passes along a barrier chain from north to south, reaching 30 meters of depth. The most abundant fauna in the area includes moray eels, conger eels, and small red scorpionfish.

Roca de Santa Anna – Maximum depth: 34 m. Level: Advanced.

Isolated rock with a pyramidal shape and approximately 10 meters high, whose apex is located around 24 meters deep. It is an advanced level immersion where consumption and decompression stops have to be taken into account.

In its many cracks and holes it is possible to find dusky grouper, swallowtail seaperch, conger eels and large moray eels, as well as colorful nudibranchs. Furthermore, it is common to find sunfish during the summer.

El Fitó – Maximum depth: 24 m. Level: All.

This immersion takes place in a rock formation where three peaks stand out (the Fitó is also known as the “Three Peak Rock”). There are many possible itineraries, whether it is by surrounding the three peaks for an easier immersion, moving away south towards Seca de Llevadó or towards west for those advanced divers. The maximum depth reached is between 19 and 24 meters, and it is common to see dusky grouper and small nudibranchs.

Roca Muladera – Maximum depth: 24 m. Level: All.

This area allows for different immersions adapted to all levels, reaching a maximum depth of 24 meters. The bottom has a rock formation, Posidonia meadows and a varied fauna, among which it is easy to find moray eels and white sea bream. As a final detail, a safety stop usually takes place at 5 meters next to the canyon walls, where it is easy to see many nudibranchs and some octopuses.

Els Bolets – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: Advanced.

This area gets its name from the unique shape of the rocks (bolets means mushroom in Catalan). The immersion is only for advanced divers and a depth of 30 meters can be reached. There is a great diversity of underwater life, but seahorses, dusky grouper and common dentex stand out.

Seca de Llevadó – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: Advanced.

An immersion suitable for advanced divers, very vast and with a similar profile to Els Bolets, regarding underwater life and orography. The vertical walls, falling down to 30 meters of depth are remarkable. In this area it is possible to find an abundant precoralline community, as well as a great variety of rock fish such as dusky grouper, conger eels, moray eels or gilthead sea bream, and some open water fish such as tuna and European barracuda.

Els Bullents – Maximum depth: 25 m. Level: All.

This immersion is suitable for all divers, and the maximum depth reached is around 25 meters. At the bottom there is a concave ensemble of large rock blocks. From the exterior point of this ensemble, a passage starts leading to a Posidonia meadow. Further on, in the same direction, a rocky barrier appears showing an abundant precoralline community. It is common to see many lobster, small red scorpionfish, and nudibranchs.

Biotopo – Maximum depth: 28 m. Level: Intermediate - Advanced.

It is a structure of artificial blocks, each is 5 meters high, sank in 1994 to a depth of 28 meters. This biotope helps avoiding bottom trawling near the coast and the deterioration of the Posidonia meadows. Furthermore, it hosts a rich and diverse marine fauna including dusky grouper, common dentex, white sea bream, and small red scorpionfish.

Dentols – Maximum depth: 32 m. Level: Intermediate.

In this immersion the maximum depth reached is 32 meters. Over the sandy bottom there is a group of rock formations where precoralline is the predominant community. The most common marine fauna consists of moray eels, small red scorpionfish, nudibranchs, and spiral tubeworms.

Sa Caleta – Maximum depth: 9 m. Level: All.

This immersion is perfect for all divers. The maximum depth reached is 9 meters, and the itinerary follows the coastline in one of the two possible directions from the entry point. Along the way it is possible to see rocky and sandy bottoms, Posidonia meadows, canyons and cracks on the walls.

Barra de Fenals – Maximum depth: 30 m. Level: All.

In this immersion, suitable for all divers, it is important to stay focused due to the lack of visual references except for three isolated rocks. The itinerary reaches a maximum depth of 30 meters, where the bottom is sandy.

S’Esquinça – Maximum depth: 32 m. Level: All.

The presence of a ripped (esquinça in Catalan) barrier gives this immersion its name. The barrier is located at 25 meters deep and goes down to 3 meters. The predominant landscape is precoralline, while the most abundant fauna includes lobster, moray eels, conger eels, and nudibranchs.

Can Roviralta – Maximum depth: 33 m. Level: Advanced.

Next to Barra de Fenals there is a short rock formation, and in the surrounding area it is possible to see sunfishes during May and June. It is an immersion for advanced divers where the maximum depth reached is 33 meters.

Posidonia oceanica

Posidonia oceanica

Posidonia meadows

Class: Liliopsida

Order: Alismatales

Family: Posidoniaceae

Genus: Posidonia

Species: P. oceanica

Aquatic plant, endemic to the Mediterranean, with similar characteristics to earth plants, like roots, a rhizomatous stalk and ribbon leaves up to a meter long displayed in tufts of 6 to 7 leaves. It flourishes in autumn and produces floating fruits in the spring, known as sea olives. It forms submarine meadows of notable ecological importance. It constitutes the climax community of the Mediterranean Sea and makes a considerable contribution towards protecting the coastline from erosion. Many animal and vegetable organisms that find food and shelter in these meadows also live among them. They are considered to be a great bioindicator of the quality of coastal seawaters.

Paramuricea clavata

Paramuricea clavata

Violescent sea-whip

Class: Anthozoa

Order: Alcyonacea

Family: Plexauridae

Genus: Paramuricea

Species: P. clavata

The gorgonia is found forming colonies with a ramified structure in a fan shape. It grows in just one plane, generally perpendicular to the dominant current in its location, which maximizes the possibilities of capturing food by its polyps. Its range of bathymetric distribution varies between 10 and 110 meters deep, but they are more frequently found between 15 and 40 meters.

Corallium rubrum

Corallium rubrum

Red coral

Class: Anthozoa

Order: Alcyonacea

Family: Coralliidae

Genus: Corallium

Species: C. rubrum

It is spread along the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Portugal and the Canary Islands up to the Cape Verde Islands. The internal skeleton provides the species with its distinct shades of red, white and black. Translucent white polyps form the branches; the tissue covering them is usually red, sometimes white or yellow. The polyps are white with 8 feathery tentacles. The large colonies, between 20 and 30 centimeters, are only found at great depth, between 40 and 400 meters. In shallow waters, specimens are considerably smaller, around 6 or 8 centimeters.

Pinna nobilis

Pinna nobilis

Noble pen shell

Class: Bivalvia

Order: Pterioida

Family: Pinnidae

Genus: Pinna

Species: P. nobilis

This species of bivalve mollusk is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. It can reach a meter long and live up to 20 years. Its insertion in the seabed is vertical and it usually inhabits Posidonia meadows. The shell has keel shape, with a round rear end. The valves have around 20 radial ribs with grooved scales, especially notable in young individuals. The color can be brown with lighter scales and the interior is bright reddish. Epiphyte organisms can profusely cover the exterior.

Palinurus elephas

Palinurus elephas

Spiny lobster

Class: Malacostraca

Order: Decapoda

Family: Palinuridae

Genus: Palinurus

Species: P. elephas

Lobster is one of the most emblematic animals in the Mediterranean coastal marine fauna. Its color is reddish brown and white-yellow, which constitutes a great camouflage. It has two pairs of characteristic big white spots in the abdomen. It can be found in areas with submerged rocks and a great availability of holes, caves and cracks. The adult specimens are generally distributed in rocky bottoms between 20 and 80 meters deep, although they can be found between 10 and 160 meters. Its activity is mostly nocturnal, feeding during the night when it is less vulnerable to predators. It mostly feeds on mollusks and echinoderms.

Homarus gammarus

Homarus gammarus

European lobster

Class: Malacostraca

Order: Decapoda

Family: Nephropidae

Genus: Homarus

Species: H. gamarus

This species is bluish black with clear spots and the first pair of legs ended in two large pincers, one of them with sharp edges used to cut, and the other with strong teeth used to grind. The H. gammarus inhabits rocky shelters and is rarely found in depths below 50 meters, but it can inhabit from the low tide mark down to 150 meters deep and preferably in sand and gravel seabed. Typically nocturnal, it goes out at night looking for food, including worms, bivalves and dead fish.

Sepia officinalis

Sepia officinalis

Common cuttlefish

Class: Cephalopoda

Order: Sepiida

Family: Sepiidae

Genus: Sepia

Species: S. officinalis

Cuttlefish have 10 arms: 8 of them are short with two rows of suckers; and 2 long and retractile arms ending in a mace-like shape with suckers used to capture its prey. Usually it is sandy colored, but it is common to see some with speckled colors. Like the octopus, it has a voluntary control of its coloration, which allows it to make instant color changes. Cuttlefish lay their eggs over corals or shells and, if they have sufficient ink, they inject it in the eggs in order to darken them and facilitate their camouflage. This species inhabits the sublittoral, down to 250 meters, in sand or sediments. It is mostly nocturnal, feeding on lobster, crustaceans and other small fish hunted in wait. During the day it usually remains buried in the sand or hidden among marine plants.

Octopus vulgaris

Octopus vulgaris

Common octopus

Class: Cephalopoda

Order: Octopoda

Family: Octopodidae

Genus: Octopus

Species: O. vulgaris

The common octopus has a span of 1 meter and the mantle can grow up to 25 centimeters. It generally has a brown tone, but it can change its skin color and even the skin texture. It is found from shallow waters to 100 meters deep. Mainly nocturnal, it is a carnivorous animal that feeds on small crustaceans, bivalves and fish. Generally, it remains hidden in cracks or caves during the day. In order to move around, it usually crawls over the seabed making use of its 8 arms, although it can also swim by jet propulsion.

Dasyatis pastinaca

Dasyatis pastinaca

Common stingray

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Myliobatiformes

Family: Dasyatidae

Genus: Dasyatis

Species: D. pastinaca

Round shaped due to the merge of the pectoral fins with the body. Its width varies between 1.2 and 2.1 meters and it has a poisonous stinger of about 20 centimeters in the tail. It inhabits sandy and muddy bottoms, in shallow waters at an average depth of 50 meters, although it can also be found in rocky reefs and estuaries. They live in groups that can be numerous. Its poison is not lethal, but it is painful and causes severe injuries or even paralysis. The stingray usually attacks when something stands over it in shallow waters.

Torpedo torpedo

Torpedo torpedo

Common torpedo

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Torpediniformes

Family: Torpedinidae

Genus: Torpedo

Species: T. torpedo

The torpedo can reach 70 centimeters of length. Its body is flattened, almost circular, with a strong tail. It has a brown color and a somewhat noticeable speckling. It has five bluish spots (it can vary between 0 to 9) in the dorsal area, which differentiate it from electric rays. Torpedoes have electrical organs located in the lower part on both sides of the body, which can generate discharges up to 220 volts and 1 ampere. They inhabit muddy or sandy bottoms, down to great depths. Its activity is essentially nocturnal, remaining buried in the sand during the day, so that only the eyes and spiracles stand above. It feeds on crustaceans, mollusks and small fish from the bottom, capturing them by knocking them out with an electrical shock.

Myliobatis aquila

Myliobatis aquila

Common eagle ray

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Myliobatiformes

Family: Myliobatidae

Genus: Myliobatis

Species: M. aquila

The Common eagle ray has a flattened, disc-shaped body, wider than it is long and with a head that stands out with a short and rounded snout. It can exceed 80 centimeters long, but smaller sizes are more common. Its dorsal coloration ranges from brown to black, while the abdomen and the lower head are white. It is a semi-pelagic species, swimming in open sea between 1 and 300 meters deep, although it can also be found close to the surface. It often goes to coastal areas in order to eat. Sometimes it can be located in muddy and sandy bottoms. Its diet consists mainly of crustaceans, mollusks and small fish living at the bottom of the sea.

Hippocampus guttulatus

Hippocampus guttulatus

Seahorse

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Syngnathiformes

Family: Syngnathidae

Genus: Hippocampus

Species: H. guttulatus

Seahorses present a long snout, compared with other species of the same genus, and its head only accounts for a third of its length. It carries bony tubercles on is body. Its color ranges from greenish yellow to reddish brown and it camouflages with the surrounding vegetation. It inhabits shallow waters, between 0.5 and 15 meters, although it hibernates at 30 meters inside Posidonia meadows and other algae zones. It camouflages among the algae in a vertical position, from where it feeds from small crustaceans that are part of the zooplankton.

Conger conger

Conger conger

Conger eel

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Anguilliformes

Family: Congridae

Genus: Conger

Species: C. conger

The C. conger has a typically anguilliform cylindrical body, with a scaleless skin, and a gill opening with slit shape that reaches the abdomen. It lacks ventral fins but it does have pectoral fins. The maximum length recorded is 300 centimeters, with a maximum weight of 66 kilograms. It inhabits areas near the coast in a depth range between 0 and 1171 meters. It can be found over rocky and sandy bottoms, closer to the coast when they are young and moving towards deeper waters as they reach adult age. It is a lonely nocturnal predator that feeds on fish, crustaceans and mollusks. It hunts in wait and its bite is not poisonous.

Muraena helena

Muraena helena

Mediterranean moray

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Anguilliformes

Family: Muraenidae

Genus: Muraena

Species: M. helena

The moray eel lacks pectoral fins and its gill openings are just tiny holes. It generally inhabits among the rocks and can reach a length of 1.5 meters. Its color varies from grey to dark brown with little spots. The skin is viscous and without scales. The dorsal fin begins behind the head and continues until it reaches the caudal fin. It prefers the rocky bottoms and lives at depths between 5 and 80 meters. It is a lonely and territorial species. The Mediterranean moray eel spends most of the day in cavities and cracks among the rocks and it is more active during the night. It hunts fish, crabs and cephalopods, but it also feeds on dead animals. Its bite can be dangerous to humans.

Sphyraena sphyraena

Sphyraena sphyraena

European barracuda

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Sphyraenidae

Genus: Sphyraena

Species: S. sphyraena

Its body is narrow with a long and sharp head. The mouth is horizontal, with a prominent lower jaw reaching the anterior edge of the eyes. It can reach a total length of 165 centimeters. Its color can be olive brown, greenish grey or yellow, and the young specimens have a golden longitudinal stripe in the middle of the flanks. The color of the back has bluish or greenish tones with 20 or 22 dark transverse stripes that disappear progressively at the flanks. The abdomen area is silver and the interior of the mouth is yellow. It is a pelagic species that can be found in groups in diverse areas, even close to the coast, swimming down to 100 meters deep. It feeds on fish and cephalopods.

Mola mola

Mola mola

Sunfish

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Tetraodontiformes

Family: Molidae

Genus: Mola

Species: M. mola

The sunfish does not have a tail or a caudal peduncle, and the caudal fin is replaced by a round structure called the clavus, giving it its characteristic shape. Its body is flattened on the sides, and this confers a long and oval shape when faced from the front. The pectoral fins are small and have a fan shape; nevertheless, the dorsal and anal fins are longer and, when extended, make the sunfish as long as it is tall. It has an average length of 1.8 meters and an average weight of 1 metric ton. The color of adult specimens goes from brown to silver grey or white and irregular pale spots covering it. It is a pelagic species that swims at depths down to 600 meters, even though it is common to see them swimming close to the surface. It feeds on different kinds of jelly zooplankton such as jellyfish, Portuguese man o’ war, ctenophora and cow bream.

Scorpaena scrofa

Scorpaena scrofa

Red scorpionfish

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scorpaeniformes

Family: Scorpaenidae

Genus: Scorpaena

Species: S. scrofa

The red scorpionfish has a changeable coloration, but the most common consists in orange tones, rosy around the abdomen, and splattered with brown and black spots. The body is chubby, while the head is large with a concave profile and big crests and spines. This fish sheds its skin, which is covered in algae, approximately every two weeks. Its weight can reach almost 3 kilograms. It is usually found at depths between 10 and 500 meters, even though it is possible to find them at shallow waters semi buried in the sand. It remains lethargic in rocky cracks during the day, leaving its hideout at night in order to seek food. For hunting, it remains immobile and, thanks to its camouflage, captures small fish and crustaceans.

Epinephelus marginatus

Epinephelus marginatus

Dusky grouper

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Serranidae

Genus: Epinephelus

Species: E. marginatus

This is a very robust fish. Its elongated body, flattened on the sides, reaches between 140 and 150 centimeters long and weights 60 kilograms on average. It has a large mouth with prominent lips, a long dorsal fin, a convex caudal fin and a round tail. The operculum has three spines. Its color varies from green to brown depending on the season and the age: it is green and bluish during juvenile stages, while the adults are dark brown with strong yellow spots. It is a lonely fish that inhabits rocky bottoms, and it can usually be seen near small caves. Although it can live down to 200 meters it is usually found between 8 and 25 meters. It feeds on mollusks (especially octopods) and crustaceans, as well as some fish.

Chromis chromis

Chromis chromis

Damselfish

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Pomacentridae

Genus: Chromis

Species: C. chromis

The damselfish has an oval and flat body with large scales. Its head is small with big eyes. The typical coloration is dark brown, lighter on the sides and the abdominal zone. Young specimens are an attractive blue, but as they grow the blue area gets smaller and obtains the brown coloration. During reproductive season, males get a bluish color on the back and a clear one on the sides. It inhabits coastal waters at varying depths, but it usually resides in areas close to 25 meters. It can be found in large, but not very dense shoals, swimming in rocky areas or among Posionia meadows. It is mostly active during the day, and it remains at the bottom at night. It feeds on plankton and the fry of other fish.

Sciaena umbra

Sciaena umbra

Brown meagre

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Sciaenidae

Genus: Sciaena

Species: S. umbra

This species has a flat body and a high, strong back (very curved), with the mouth opening reaching the base of the eyes. The snout is round and the mouth is in a clearly ventral position, while the chin lacks a wart below. The caudal fin has a smooth S shape. Its color is dark grey or brown, with greenish reflections on the back, and a whitish abdomen. It can reach a size of 70 centimeters. It forms small shoals over the continental platform, generally at shallow depths between 5 and 20 meters, in areas with abundant vegetation and stony bottoms. It feeds on crabs, mollusks and small fish.

Seriola dumerili

Seriola dumerili

Greater amberjack

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Carangidae

Genus: Seriola

Species: S. dumerili

Its body is laterally flat and elongated. The eyes are small and the snout is long and round, with a somewhat prominent inferior jaw and a wide mouth. Its coloration is bluish on the back and silver white on the ventral area. Some specimens can have a vague yellow line along the flanks. It reaches a maximum length of 160 centimeters and a weight of 60 kilograms. With pelagic or epibenthic habits, it can swim alone or in groups. It mainly feeds on crustaceans, squid, and fry.

Diplodus puntazzo

Diplodus puntazzo

Sharpsnout seabream

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Sparidae

Genus: Diplodus

Species: D. puntazzo

Its body is oval and flattened on the sides, with a long and sharp snout. Its coloration is silver grey, with 7 to 11 black transverse lines alternating in width and intensity. It has a black spot with a saddle shape on the caudal peduncle; a tiny black spot directly below the pectoral fins; and the dorsal, caudal and anal fins of a grayish color with black edge. Males can reach 60 centimeters long. It inhabits depths between 0 and 50 meters, and can be found in a wide range of bottoms (rocky, mixed, rocky areas with abundant vegetation, sand or silt). It feeds on algae, worms, mollusks and small prawns.

Sparus aurata

Sparus aurata

Gilthead seabream

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Sparidae

Genus: Sparus

Species: S. aurata

Its body is flattened on both sides, with a large and round head, and a thick lip mouth. It has 4 to 6 anterior teeth followed by blunt teeth organized in 2 or 4 rows. It is silver grey with a big black spot over the superior margin of the operculum and a peculiar golden front band between the eyes. Adult specimens live in small groups in the open sea and are usually found over rocky bottoms and Posidonia meadows, although it can also be seen over sandy bottoms. Young specimens remain in relatively shallow waters. It mainly feeds on fish, crustaceans and mollusks. Sometimes it also eats algae and green marine plants.

Thalassoma pavo

Thalassoma pavo

Ornate wrasse

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Thalassoma

Species: T. pavo

It has an elongated appearance and round head. Its coloration changes according to its development stage; with young specimens having a greenish color. It exhibits sexual dimorphism: females are larger with orange color and light green vertical lines; and males have a brown body with greenish lines, a bluish and reddish head with a black spot on the back, and can reach 25 centimeters of length. It usually inhabits rocky bottoms and marine phanerogam meadows, such as P. oceanica, and can be found from the coastal line down to 50 meters deep. It feeds on mollusks, crustaceans and echinoderms.

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