Chrysoblephus laticeps
Chrysoblephus laticeps ('golden-eyed broad head') aka Roman Nose Goby or Red Roman or Roman seabream, is a marine demersal fish growing to a maximum length of 500mm and a recorded mass of 4200g. It is a slow-growing species showing late sexual maturity, and is closely related to the Red Stumpnose
Chrysoblephus gibbiceps
Chrysoblephus gibbiceps or Red Stumpnose is a cold water, reef-dwelling species of sea bream, closely related to the Red Roman. It is endemic to the South African south and east coasts, and found from False Bay near Cape Town to Margate on the Natal Southcoast...

. Its distribution extends over the southeastern Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and southwestern Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

, Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

, southern Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 and along the southern African coastline from northern Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 to northern Natal
Natal, South Africa
Natal is a region in South Africa. It stretches between the Indian Ocean in the south and east, the Drakensberg in the west, and the Lebombo Mountains in the north. The main cities are Pietermaritzburg and Durban...

. It is found above rocky bottoms and reefs, in water up to 100m in depth and is often caught from the beach by anglers. Juveniles mature in seaweed beds and feed on mollusks, crustaceans, worms and fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

. Adults are benthic feeders, living on crustaceans, sea urchins and polychaete worms.

Mature females transform into territorial males upon further growth (see Protogyny). The species forms pairs before an elaborate courtship ritual and spawning, the eggs being released well above the seafloor.

The Red Roman is of robust build, orange to red in colour, showing a striking white saddle and white bar over the gill cover, with a horizontal blue line linking the eyes. Its canines are prominent and it has several rows of molars in both upper and lower jaws.

South African research shows that individuals occupy a territory ranging between 1 000m2 and 3 000m2, and that the extent is independent of fish size or habitat quality. These small home ranges suggest that dispersal of the species is mainly by planktonic larvae. Activity is markedly reduced during the night, and when cold-water upwelling occur, fish seek the shelter of caves. Over the spawning period, females wander beyond their normal home boundaries.

This species is sought after by line fishers, operating from the shore or from boats within the inshore zone. Linefishing is the least destructive fishing method, having little impact when carried out with rod and reel or a handline. Other methods, such as spearfishing
Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing that has been used throughout the world for millennia. Early civilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks....

, lead to overfishing and a population decline in areas such as Port Elizabeth and False Bay
False Bay
False Bay is a body of water defined by Cape Hangklip and the Cape Peninsula in the extreme South-West of South Africa.- Description and location :...

. Its slow growth renders the species particularly vulnerable. There is evidence of some recovery of numbers within Marine Protected Area
Marine Protected Area
Marine Protected Areas, like any protected area, are regions in which human activity has been placed under some restrictions in the interest of conserving the natural environment, it's surrounding waters and the occupant ecosystems, and any cultural or historical resources that may require...


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