Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Alosinae
Etymology: Alosa: Latin, alausa = a fish cited by Ausonius and Latin, halec = pickle, dealing with the Greek word hals = salt; it is also the old Saxon name for shad = "alli" ; 1591 (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; anadromous (Ref. 51243). Temperate; 46°N - 25°N, 82°W - 66°W
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 32.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); common length : 34.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188)
soft rays: 19 - 23;
Vertebrae: 53 - 55. Belly with distinct keel of scutes. Lower jaw very prominent, but not rising steeply within mouth; teeth reduced or in upper jaw absent in fishes over 23 cm standard length. A dark spot on shoulder, several obscure dark spots along flank (sometimes missing). Closely resembles A. chrysochloris which has stronger jaw teeth, no shoulder spot and the body depth less than head length (Ref. 188). Silvery, with a dark grayish green back (Ref. 7251).
Western Atlantic: along the coast from Maine to the St. John's River, Florida. Also in rivers.
Schools of adults are found in marine waters, along the coast; also estuaries, tidal rivers and tributaries during late spring and early summer (Ref. 4639). Juveniles tend to leave nursery areas during summer (Ref. 4639). Feed on small fishes, also squid, small crabs and other crustaceans, as well as fish eggs. Spawn in tidal freshwater (Patuxent River, Chesapeake Bay in May) (Ref. 188), and return to the sea shortly after (Ref. 4639). Parasites found are nematodes, cestodes and trematodes (Ref. 37032).
Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.58 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (41 of 100) .