Benthopelagic marine species. Gregarious species living in coastal waters on rocky or sandy bottoms, up to 1 50 m (only occasionally over 50 m). Younger individuals can also be found in brackish waters and may live in littoral pools (sometimes in brackish waters and lagoons), the adults often occur in the surf zone. Feeds on seaweeds, worms, mollusks and shrimps (Ref. 4781). Very common in the Mediterranean. In the Atlantic occurs from Gibraltar to the coasts off Sierra Leone, including the coasts of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. Less often found off the Iberian Atlantic coasts and Bay of Biscay. Scarce in the Black Sea. Permanent hermaphrodite species with some protandric episodes (behaving as male after its first sexual maturity to become female later on). Reproduction happens by the end of the summer and autumn. Egg size 0.85 mm, larval length at hatching 1.7 mm.