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Species: Harengula jaguana, Scaled Sardine, Scaled Herring

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark spot BEHIND gill cover
D no black tip
gill rakers 32-39
tongue: width of 2 tooth plates = 20-33% combined length
pectoral 22-25% SL
pelvic inserts mid-way pectoral base to A

Harengula jaguana Poey, 1865

Scaled Sardine, Scaled Herring

Body fusiform, moderately deep (depth usually 34% or more of SL, and greater than head length); upper and lower body profiles both convex; mouth at front, lower jaw a little projecting; no notch at center front of top jaws; top jaw with 3 toothed bones; tooth plates on & behind tongue broad (width 20-33% of combined length), front plate with bulge at front; lower gill rakers 32-39; operculum smooth without bony striae; rear margin of gill opening with two fleshy lobes; dorsal fin slightly before center of body, none of rays with filament; anal fin base short (15-19 rays), origin well behind dorsal fin; pectoral fin long (22-24.5% of SL); pelvics 7 branched rays, inserted about midway between pectoral base and origin of anal fin; a forked tail fin; row of 28-31 keeled scutes (bony scales) along belly.

Upper sides blue-black, with faint horizontal streaks, silvery on sides; a dark spot behind top corner of operculum; fins clear, although tips of tail often dusky.

Size: grows to 27.5 cm.

Habitat: pelagic in coastal waters over mud and sand bottoms, often in estuaries and in hypersaline lagoons.

Depth: 0-22 m

New Jersey to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Hypersaline
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 27.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 22