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Species: Opisthonema oglinum, Atlantic thread herring

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top jaw - no central notch
D last ray = long filament
rear of gill opening - 2 fleshy lobes
pelvic I,7
full row belly scutes

Opisthonema oglinum (Lesueur, 1818)

Atlantic thread herring

Body fusiform, moderately compressed; mouth opens at front, oblique, short, without a notch at top front; top jaw with 2 toothed bones; teeth small, conical; 28-46 fine rakers; rear margin of gill chamber with two fleshy lobes; dorsal fin slightly before center of body, last fin ray long and filamentous, extending nearly to tail fin base; anal fin short, well behind dorsal fin; pelvic fins on the abdomen, insert under center of dorsal fin base, i, 7;  a forked tail fin; belly with a distinct, complete keel formed by 32-36 scutes (hard spiny scales); scales relatively small (<50 in lateral series), irregularly arranged.

Bluish green on back, sometimes with dark longitudinal lines; silvery white on sides and belly; a dark spot just behind top corner of gill cover, sometimes with 1 or more irregular lines of spots behind; edge of dorsal fin and its filament dusky; tail fin with black tips.  

Reaches 48 cm.

Pelagic, coastal, migratory in temperate areas.

Depth: 0-50 m.  

Maine to southern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Surface
  • Water column only
  • Surface
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends South of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 48
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 50