Common Name: Comber
Scientific Names: Serranus cabrilla
Description:The Combers seen around Malta are usually 10-15cm long. In shape they resemble a slim version of a grouper (see number 24), with 7 or 8 vertical dark bars along the body. There is also a prominent dark line running from head to tail usually passing through the eye and sometimes a second line lower than the first. In juveniles the two longitudinal dark lines edge a distinct white line.
Distinctive Features: Seven to nine vertical bars along the flank of the body, with one or two lines running along the body, one of which runs through the eye.
Abundance: Solitary fish. Not at every site and often only one sighting during a dive.
Habitat & Behaviour: Whilst preferring rocky reefs, it is also found over broken sandy, boulder-strewn sea beds where small fish occupy cracks and crevices. Adults may be territorial.
Reaction to Snorkellers & Divers: They are initially inquisitive and hold their ground and may then swim off but turn round once again to take another look.
Other Names: Salema
Text: Bob Earll
Photo: Russell & Gill Bennett
Video: Bob Earll