Résumé: We investigated links between swimming behavior and muscle bioenergetics in two emblematic Mediterranean fish species that have very different ecologies and activity levels. European sardines Sardina pilchardus are pelagic, they swim aerobically, school constantly and have high muscle fat content. Gilthead seabream Sparus aurata are bentho-pelagic, they show discontinuous spontaneous swimming patterns and store less fat in their muscle. Estimating the proportion of red and white muscle phenotypes, sardine exhibited a larger proportion of red muscle (similar to 10% of the body mass) compared to gilthead seabream (similar to 5% of the body mass). We firstly studied red and white muscle fiber bioenergetics, using high-resolution respirometers, showing a 4-fold higher oxidation capacity for red compared to white muscle. Secondly, we aimed to compare the red muscle ability to oxidize either lipids or carbohydrates. Sardine red muscle had a 3-fold higher oxidative capacity than gilthead seabream and a greater capacity to oxidize lipids. This study provides novel insights into physiological mechanisms underlying the different lifestyles of these highly-prized species.