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Species: Odontognathus compressus, Caribbean Longfin Herring

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belly keel - no gap under pectoral base
A 52-62

Odontognathus compressus Meek & Hildebrand, 1923

Caribbean Longfin Herring

Body elongate, very compressed; top of head strongly concave; mouth short, strongly oblique; lower jaw projecting; upper jaw long, extending to or past gill opening; very small dorsal fin, behind mid-body; pectoral fins low on the side just behind the head; no fin spines; anal base very long, 52-62, origin well before dorsal; no pelvic fins; a forked tail fin; a strongly serrated, convex keel on belly of 24-29 scutes, outer edges of scutes serrated, keel not interrupted under pectoral fin base.

Body pale, translucent; head silvery; a narrow silver stripe along flank; a dark line along midline of back behind dorsal fin; fins clear, base of tail fin dark.

Reaches 17 cm.

Inshore coastal waters over muddly bottoms; enters brackish estuaries.

Depth: 0-30 m.

Costa Rica to Suriname.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 17
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 30