Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea: Bay of Biscay to Senegal, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde; rare in the British Isles but recorded occasionally off Denmark. Azores.
Adults inhabit various types of bottoms, especially seagrass beds and sand down to 500 m depth, but more common between 40 and 100 m.
The young are found nearer to the shore. Omnivorous, but prefer worms, mollusks and small crustaceans.
Important food- and sportfish.