Eastern Atlantic: Norway and the Mediterranean to Guinea-Bissau, including Cape Verde, Madeira and the Canary Islands.
Rarely recorded in Scandinavia.
Found on inshore waters, on various bottom (rock, gravel, sand and mud) to 200 m (Mediterranean) or 300 m (Atlantic) and move to deeper waters during winter.
Omnivorous, but feed mainly on benthic invertebrates and small fishes. Protogynic hermaphrodites, females become males first in their third year with sizes of about 17 cm.
Important food fish. Reports of ciguatera poisoning!