Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Alosa chrysochloris, Skipjack Herring, Skipjack Shad

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body depth < head length
shoulder: no dark spot
lower jaw projecting, its top edge not rising steeply within mouth
jaw teeth present
gill rakers 20-24

Alosa chrysochloris (Rafinesque, 1820)

Skipjack Herring, Skipjack Shad

Moderately deep bodied (body depth < head length), moderately compressed; upper jaw with a distinct central notch into which the lower jaw fits; upper edge of lower jaw not rising steeply within mouth; lower jaw projecting when mouth is closed; teeth at front of jaws; 20-24 slender lower gill rakers, upper rakers long, folding down over lower ones; gill rakers on rear surface of upper part of 3rd gill arch; dorsal fin at about mid-body; pelvic fins (i, 8) below dorsal fin; anal fin short and well behind dorsal fin base; a forked tail fin; all of centerline of belly with keel of scutes (hard, spiny scales); no scutes before dorsal fin; scales smooth, well attached.

Upper back deep blue-green, abruptly light green below, shading to white on belly; no dark spot behind gill cover of adults; fins clear to pale yellow; tail tips dark.

Reaches 60 cm.

Coastal pelagic, enters freshwater and brackish water to spawn.

Depth range: 0-5 m.

The Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Insects
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 60
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5