Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Osmeriformes
(Smelts) > Argentinidae
(Argentines or herring smelts)
Etymology: Argentina: Latin, argentus = silver (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; bathydemersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 140 - 1440 m, usually 150 - 550 m (Ref. 4773). Deep-water; 75°N - 40°N, 69°W - 31°E
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 70.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); max. reported age: 35 years (Ref. 35388)
soft rays: 11 - 17. Scales with tiny spines on exposed parts. Dorsal fin begins above or nearly above tip of pectoral fin (Ref. 7251). Swim bladder elongated and silvery. Body slender to robust (Ref. 37473).
Eastern Atlantic: Svalbard to west coasts of Scotland and Ireland, deeper parts of North Sea and across the Wyville Thomson ridge to Denmark Strait. Western Atlantic: Davis Strait to George's Bank in Canada.
Bathypelagic (Ref. 58426). Prefer depths of 182.8-255.9 m, temperature 7-10°C and mean salinity 34 ppt (Ref. 5951). Probably form schools close to the bottom. Feeds on planktonic invertebrates including euphausiids, amphipods (arrow worms, krill and Thermisto (Ref. 5951)), chaetognaths, squids and ctenophores, also small fishes. Spawns from April to July (Ref. 4773). Growth is slow. Eggs and young are pelagic at depths of 400-500m. Used fresh or in fish meal production (Ref. 35388).
Cohen, D.M., 1984. Argentinidae (including Microstomatidae). p. 386-391. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Volume 1. Unesco, Paris.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5001 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00437 (0.00231 - 0.00826), b=3.15 (2.97 - 3.33), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.12-0.14; tm=5-9).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (51 of 100) .