Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens)
Etymology: Dorosoma: Greek, doris = lance + Greek, soma = body (Ref. 45335); cepedianum: Named after the French ichthyologist, Lacepede (Ref. 10294).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range ? - 33 m (Ref. 39020). Subtropical; ? - 32°C (Ref. 12741); 49°N - 21°N, 100°W - 70°W (Ref. 188)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 36.1  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 57.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 35.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); max. published weight: 2.0 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 10 years (Ref. 72462)
soft rays: 25 - 36;
Vertebrae: 47 - 51. Body moderately deep; belly with 17 to 20 - 10 to 14 scutes. Mouth small; lower jaw short. Last dorsal fin ray long, about equal to distance from snout tip to mid-pectoral fin or beyond; anal fin long. Scales small, somewhat irregular. A dark spot behind gill opening. Gill rakers fine and numerous (Ref. 188). Branchiostegal rays 6 (Ref. 4639). Silvery to brassy, with a bluish back. Stomach thick-walled, gizzard-like (Ref. 7251).
Northwest Atlantic: North America and Gulf of Mexico drainage (southeast South Dakota and central Minnesota, Great Lakes drainage, i.e. in Lake Erie, southern parts of Lakes Huron and Michigan, Lake Ontario basin; not Lake Superior; southernmost New York southward to the Mississippi system and to Gulf southward to Río Pánuco, Mexico.
Occur mainly in freshwater in large rivers, reservoirs, lakes, swamps, temporary floodwater pools, etc., but adults also found in brackish or saline water of estuaries or bays, preferring quieter open waters. Juveniles are found in great abundance well upstream from brackish water (Ref. 39041). Very young individuals apparently never enter brackish water (Ref. 38947). Larvae are most abundant in surface waters both day and night (Ref. 4639). A herbivorous filter-feeder almost entirely. Breed near the surface in freshwater from late winter (mid-March) through most of the summer (at least to about mid-August). The adhesive eggs sink. Used to some extent as fertilizer and cattle food (Ref. 188).
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: usually
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00813 (-0.02050 - 0.03675), b=3.07 (3.05 - 3.09), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.4 ±0.21 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2; tmax=6).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (30 of 100) .