1. Any of three species of seabream of the Sparidae, the diet of which includes shellfish and crustaceans: a.The white steenbras (sense (a) see steenbras sense b), Lithognathus lithognathus.b.The black musselcracker (see sense 2 below), Cymatoceps nasutus.c.The white musselcracker (see sense 2 below), Sparodon durbanensis. In these senses also called mussel crusher.
1905H.E.B. Brooking inE. London Dispatch 6 Nov. 7Judging by the enormous incisors, and the perfect pavement of rounded molars with which the jaws of these white steenbras are armed, these fish live largely upon shell-fish, hence the local name ‘mussel-cracker’ and Durban name ‘mussel-crusher’.
1932Grocott’s Daily Mail 11 Jan. 2The catching of a mussel cracker, 62lbs in weight..yesterday cheered the hearts of local fishermen.
1937C. BirkbyZulu Journey 180Enthusiastic anglers here will lead one before the mounted head of a mussel-cracker which weighed 53lbs and pause enraptured to gaze at the rows of great rounded molars, like polished marbles, with which the monster had made sure that his diet of mussels and oysters would not give him indigestion.
1949J. MockfordGolden Land 45Heavy net-loads of fish..with formidable names such as musselcracker, kabeljauw and seventy-four.
1949J.L.B. SmithSea Fishes of Sn Afr. 271Cymatoceps nasutus...Musselcracker. Musselcrusher. Biskop. Black Biskop. Swart Biskop. Blue Biskop. Blou Biskop. Poenskop. Stompkop (Cape). Blouer or Bank Blouer (Knysna). Witbek. Stembras. Steenbras. Black Steenbras (Eastern Cape — Natal).
1955C. HorneFisherman’s Eldorado 89The musselcracker is the fish which is also known to Western Province anglers as sand stompkop, the white musselcracker or the white biskop,..the silver steenbras of the Eastern Province and Wild Coast, the brusher of Natal.
1971Daily News 16 Apr. 3Zululanders can expect best results operating out of Mtunzini, where good catches of deep-sea reef-fish — including some big musselcracker have been reported.
1981E. Prov. Herald 23 Apr. 11The name ‘steenbras’ is probably the most abused name in the whole of our fish nomenclature. What we call a mussel-cracker, Natal and Border anglers call a white steenbras.
1993Bennett & Attwood inEarthyear Winter 35Since the prohibition of angling in the De Hoop Marine Reserve in 1986, the populations of..white steenbras, blacktail, bronze bream, musselcracker, Cape stumpnose, wildeperd..have recovered to densities..comparable to those which were likely to have been experienced by anglers earlier this century.
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