Painted comber

Encounter with a Painted comber in Gran Canaria

The painted comber is not very shy so you can get quite close to it. With its multitude of colours, it’s always a great model for underwater photographers.

Painted Comber


How to recognize a painted comber?

The painted comber has a somewhat longer body with a pointed snout.
It has a very large mouth for its size, which has many sharp teeth. The maximum recorded fish measurement is 36 centimetres.
Painted Comber
Remarkable is its grey, purplish and reddish colour dark brown bars on the flanks. Its head is marked with many narrow, wavy blue lines and red blotches. The fins are marked with red dots and there is a diffuse, purplish-blue blotch in the middle of the body. The pelvic and pectoral fins are normally uniform pale yellow.
They have a maximum life expectancy of 16 years.

Scuba Diving

The painted comber lives on rocky bottoms at depths of 5 to 150 metres. During the day, it shelters in rocky caves. Normally he is either solitary or found in small groups. They are no threat whatsoever to scuba divers.

Painted Comber

The painted comber diet

As a nocturne ambush hunter, it emerges at dusk to hunt. As a carnivore his diet is made up of cephalopods, bivalves, crustaceans, fishes, and worms.
You find him often in the neighborhood of octopuses as it waits at the entrance scavenging the octopus’s discarded parts of shellfish.

Good to know

The reproduction season runs from late spring to early summer with the eggs being laid under stones near the shore. The painted comber is hermaphrodite, i.e. each individual has both male and female gonads and may be capable of self-fertilization.

Some Science

SpeciesSerranus scriba

More Information

We get many questions about what there is to see when you go diving in the south of Gran Canaria. We want to respond to this by creating a number of articles where each highlights a specific species we regularly encounter when diving in the Atlantic. The complete series gives you a good idea of what to find when scuba diving in the blue waters of the south of Gran Canaria. Let’s be clear we are not marine biologists; just a dive centre trying to provide valuable information to our customers.
For the full details of the species we would like to refer to Here you’ll find more detail than we can go into.