Inshore waters above various types of bottom (rocks, sand, mud) to 400 m (Mediterranean) and 700 m (Atlantic); young near the coast, adults on the continental slope specially over muddy bottoms. Omnivorous, but feed mainly on crustaceans, mollusks, worms and small fish. Adults move towards the coast up to the edge of the continental shelf to spawn from January to June. Important foodfish. Marketed fresh and frozen; consumed pan-fried, broiled and baked.
Eastern Atlantic: Norway, Strait of Gibraltar to Cape Blanc in Mauritania, Madeira, Canary Islands, and western Mediterranean.