John Dory

by David Proudfoot

Zeus faber

species ID john dory

Other Names

Dory, St Peter’s Fish

Distinguishing features

The John dory has a narrow rounded body with a large protrusible mouth. The first dorsal fin is large with 9 to 10 spines and there is another spiny fin on the lower edge. The sides have a light background interspersed with greenish brown patches and the ventral side is a greyish silver. There is a black “thumb-mark” on either side which is surrounded by a yellow ring. The membranes on the anal and pelvic fins are black.


The John dory can reach lengths in excess of 60 cm and weights of 5 kilo or more.

British Record Fish List

UK Shore Record: 3lb / 1.360kg Qualifying weight
UK Boat Record: 11lb 14oz 0dms / 5.386kg

European Line Class Record for this species


This species ranges from the south western waters of Scandinavia down through the Mediterranean to the north west coast of Africa. It normally lives of around 10 to 50 metres and will often hunt in mid-water.


The John Dory feeds mainly on small fish.


This fish is normally an accidental capture and has been taken on fish baited feathers.

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