Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens)
Etymology: Gilchristella: Because of John Gilchrist, father of the South African ichthyology; Cape Town, 1925.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; amphidromous. Subtropical; 25°S - 36°S, 17°E - 34°E (Ref. 188)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 3.0, range 2 - 3 cm
Max length : 10.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4967); max. reported age: 6 years (Ref. 7248)
soft rays: 16 - 27. With 6 to 9 unkeeled pre-pelvic scutes, followed by an equally thin pelvic scute, all with slender ascending arms; no post-pelvic scutes. Snout pointed, lower jaw a little prominent, with a single row of fine teeth in each jaw; second supra-maxilla paddle-shaped. Gill rakers small but present on posterior face of third epibranchial (cf. absent in Ehirava fluviatilis).
Africa: Lake Piti, Mozambique along southern African coast to Saldanha Bay, possibly mouth of Orange River (but perhaps confused by presence of a second undescribed species). Reported occurrence in India (Ref. 32693) needs validation (Ref. 33664). Reports of the occurrence in Madagascan waters (Ref. 13333) are in error (Ref. 33664).
Occurs primarily in estuaries and lagoons, but also found in lakes and rivers. Entire life cycle is completed in the estuary (Ref. 32693). Can tolerate salinities under 4 ppt and of up to 52.6 ppt (Ref. 32693). Breeds throughout the year with a peak in spring and early summer. Maturity may be attained within the first or second year and an age of up to 5 or 6 years is recorded. Feeds chiefly on zooplankton by filtering or selecting individual organisms from the water column (Ref. 7248). Utilized fresh or dried and salted (Ref. 12484).
Skelton, P.H., 1993. A complete guide to the freshwater fishes of southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers. 388 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; bait: usually
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=0.00998 (-0.10777 - 0.12772), b=3.11118 (3.03565 - 3.18670), based on LWR estimates for species & family-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm=0.5).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (13 of 100) .