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Sardinops sagax  (Jenyns, 1842)

South American pilchard
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Sardinops sagax   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Sardinops sagax (South American pilchard)
Sardinops sagax
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes (Herrings) > Clupeidae (Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Alosinae
Etymology: Sardinops: Latin and Greek, sarda = sardine; name related to the island of Sardinia + Greek, ops = appearance (Ref. 45335);  sagax: From the latin word 'sagax' which means of quick perception, acute, or alert (Ref. 6885).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 200 m (Ref. 188).   Subtropical; 9°C - 21°C (Ref. 6390); 61°N - 47°S, 145°W - 180°E (Ref. 36641)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 9.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 39.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9291); common length : 20.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); max. published weight: 486.00 g (Ref. 6885); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 188)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-21; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 12 - 23; Vertebrae: 48 - 54. Body cylindrical and elongate; ventral part of operculum with clear cut bony striae radiating downwards; belly rounded with ventral scutes; back blue green; flanks white, with 1 to 3 series of dark spots along the middle (Ref. 55763). The radiating bony striae on the operculum distinguish this species from all other clupeids in the area. The radiating bony striae on the operculum distinguish this fish from all other clupeids in the area. In New Zealand the species appears to grow larger (21.3 cm standard length; cf. 19.7 cm), has slightly larger eggs and a higher mean number of vertebrae (50.52; cf. 49 to 50.08 in various samples) (Ref. 859).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: southern Africa to the eastern Pacific (Ref. 27267). Three lineages were confirmed through cluster and parsimony analyses of haplotypic divergences: southern Africa (ocellatus) and Australia (neopilchardus); Chile (sagax) and California (caeruleus); and, Japan (melanostictus) (Ref. 36641).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Neritic (Ref. 11230). A coastal species that forms large schools (Ref. 188). Occur at temperatures ranging from 16° to 23°C in summer and from 10° to 18°C in winter. Feed mainly on planktonic crustaceans. Young fish feed on zooplankton such as copepod and adults on phytoplankton (Ref. 39882). Oviparous, with pelagic eggs, and pelagic larvae (Ref. 265). Possibly can live up to 25 years (Ref. 265). In the California region, pilchards make northward migrations early in summer and travel back south again in autumn. With each year of life, the migration becomes farther (Ref. 6885). Marketed fresh, frozen or canned. Utilized mainly for fish meal; but also eaten fried and broiled (Ref. 9988). Main source of landing: NE Pacific: Mexico (Ref. 4931).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

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. (Ref. 188)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; bait: usually
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | OsteoBase(skull, spine) | Public aquariums | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00912 (0.00749 - 0.01111), b=3.08 (3.03 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.4   ±0.1 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.45; tm=2; tmax=13-25; Fec=10,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.