Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Dorosomatinae
Etymology: Sardinella: Latin and Greek, sarda = sardine; name related to the island of Sardinia; diminutive (Ref. 45335). More on author: Lowe.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 80 m (Ref. 27000). Subtropical; 24°C - ? (Ref. 54872); 46°N - 23°S, 17°W - 36°E (Ref. 54872)
Atlantic Ocean: eastern Atlantic Ocean from Gibraltar southward to Angola, with a single specimen reported from Walvis Bay, Namibia (Ref. 188, 81269). Also known from Mediterranean Sea in the southern and eastern parts, penetrating also the Suez Canal (Ref. 188).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 13.4, range 11 - 19.5 cm
Max length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); common length : 25.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); max. published weight: 927.00 g (Ref. 3808)
soft rays: 17 - 23;
Vertebrae: 44 - 48. Diagnosis: Body elongate, but variable in depth, belly fairly sharply keeled; total scutes 31-34; lower gillrakers 70-166; upper pectoral finrays white on outer side, the membrane between black (Ref. 188, 81269, 81631). It resembles Sardinella aurita, but pelvic finrays i,7 vs. i,8 in S. aurita and no black spot on hind part of gill cover, but faint gold or black area just behind gill opening (Ref. 188). It is distinguished from S. rouxi by having more lower gillrakers, which is only 30-40 in S. rouxi and the caudal fin grey, its tips almost black, yellow in S. rouxi (Ref. 188).
Forms schools in coastal waters, preferring waters of 24°C. Feeds on a variety of small planktonic invertebrates, fish larvae and phytoplankton. Breeds during the warm season (July-September). Juveniles and adults show clear north-south migrations in the Gabon-Congo-Angola sector of their range and also in the Sierra Leone-Mauritania sector, each area having nurseries. The movements are correlated with the seasonal upwelling. Marketed fresh, frozen or salted.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). 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. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; bait: usually
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 18 - 27.9, mean 21 (based on 208 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00851 (0.00685 - 0.01057), b=3.03 (2.99 - 3.07), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.38 se; Based on food items.
Generation time: 3.3 (1.3 - 4.0) years. Estimated as median LN(3)/K based on 11 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.34; tm=3; tmax=6).
Prior r = 0.57, 95% CL = 0.38 - 0.86, Based on 6 stock assessments.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .