Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Osmeriformes
(Smelts) > Osmeridae
Etymology: Hypomesus: Greek, hypo = under + Greek,mesos = a half (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; benthopelagic. Temperate; 57°N - 34°N
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 9 - ? cm
Max length : 30.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6885); common length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. reported age: 5 years (Ref. 72502)
soft rays: 12 - 17;
Vertebrae: 64 - 67. Vomer small, without posterior process; periphery of glossohyal bone with single row of blunt teeth, a few teeth located irregularly at center of distal region; base of adipose fin less than 20% of head length; eye small; adipose eyelid well developed (Ref. 33312). Distinguished by its midlateral scale count of 66 to 73 and the presence of 4 to 7 pyloric caeca (Ref. 27547). Lateral line short and incomplete, reaching about to tip of pectorals (Ref. 27547). Adipose sickle-shaped; pectorals small; pelvic fins originating behind or below dorsal origin (Ref. 6885). Light olive green to brownish on back, sides and belly silvery and iridescent with a bright reflecting band along the side in living specimens; males show more golden hues than females during spawning season (Ref. 6885). Branchiostegal rays: 7-8 (Ref. 35792).
Eastern Pacific: Prince William Sound, Gulf of Alaska to Long Beach, southern California, USA. Reports from the western Pacific are misidentifications of Hypomesus japonicus.
Individuals 3.5 cm may ascend rivers, presumably returning to the sea shortly after (Ref. 27547). Presumably young move offshore and reappear inshore as mature adults (Ref. 27547). At sea, they feed on small crustaceans, worms and jellyfish, as well as larval fishes (Ref. 6885, 10276). Females reach age 3, males age 2 (Ref. 27547). Oviparous, with demersal eggs and planktonic larvae (Ref. 35792). Eggs are laid on beaches with heavy surf action (Ref. 33312).
Saruwatari, T., J.A. López and T.W. Pietsch, 1997. A revision of the ormerid genus Hypomesus Gill (Teleostei: Salmoniformes), with a description of a new species from the southern Kuril Islands. Species Diversity 2:59-82.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5313 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00427 (0.00188 - 0.00971), b=3.12 (2.92 - 3.32), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.41 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=1-2; tmax=5; Fec=1,320).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (31 of 100) .