This study examined the spawning season, spawning frequency and batch fecundity of yellow sea bream Dentex hypselosomus in the East China Sea to reassess the previously reported reproductive characteristics of the species. Time-course sampling showed that this species had a diurnal ovarian maturation rhythm. Late tertiary yolk-stage oocytes appeared 2 days before spawning, starting the process of germinal vesicle movement and breakdown. On the day of spawning, ovulation and subsequent spawning occurred in the early morning (0400–0800 hours). Postovulatory follicles disappeared from the ovaries within c. 24 h of ovulation. Seasonal changes in the ovarian conditions indicated that this species spawned more or less throughout the year, with the peak ranging from spring to autumn. The compositions of the developing oocytes and degenerating postovulatory follicles in the ovaries suggested that most females spawned repeatedly over 2 to 3 consecutive days during the peak of the spawning season. Somatic body condition did not have a significant effect on batch fecundity, but there was a significant relationship between batch fecundity and fork length according to spawning status. Females spawning on consecutive days were more fecund than those spawning every other day. The findings show that this species has much greater reproductive potential than previously estimated.