Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Dorosomatinae
Etymology: Ethmalosa: Greek, ethmos, -ou = sieve, also the ethmoides bone + 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; catadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - ? m (Ref. 54436), usually 0 - 50 m (Ref. 54436). Tropical; 25°N - 8°S, 17°W - 14°E (Ref. 54436)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 17.0  range ? - 18.5 cm
Max length : 45.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5377); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26999)
soft rays: 19 - 23. Upper jaw with distinct median notch, into which tip of lower jaw fits. Lower gill rakers long, fine and numerous, about 3 times as long as gill filaments; upper gill rakers bent sharply upward, V-shaped. Caudal fin deep chrome, tips long and pointed. A faint dark spot behind gill cover (sometimes followed by others); dorsal fin tip black; golden tints on body. Scute: 16-19 prepelvic, 10-13 post. Scales in lateral series 37-42.
Eastern Central Atlantic: Dakhla, Western Sahara to at least Lobito, Angola, corresponding to the extreme northerly and southerly limits of the 25°C isotherms throughout the year; dwarf population exist in Lake Nokoué, Benin. Cape Verde records based on erroneous type locality for Ethmalosa fimbriata by Bowdich - followed by later authors.
Occurs in inshore waters, lagoons and more than 300 km up rivers (e.g. Gambia River). Feeds by filtering phytoplankton, chiefly diatoms. Breeds throughout the year in waters of salinities 3.5-38 ppt, but with peaks in at least some areas. Spawns in the sea, in estuaries and rivers. Feeds on phytoplankton, chiefly diatoms. Marketed fresh, also smoked and dried.
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: highly commercial; aquaculture: experimental
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01020 (0.00864 - 0.01204), b=3.04 (2.99 - 3.09), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.5 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.25-0.36; tm=1; Fec=16,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (41 of 100) .