Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Sardinella aurita, Round Sardinella, Spanish Sardine

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

top jaw no central notch
rear of gill opening - 2 fleshy lobes
operculum corner: +/- black spot
pelvic I,8
D no filament
nape scales paired
belly fully scuted

Sardinella aurita Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1847

Spanish Sardine, Round Sardinella

Elongate, semi-cylindrical; 8-10 ridges on paired (fronto-parietal) bone on top of head behind eyes; top jaw without a notch at front, with only 2 toothed bones; rear of top jaw with an extra, symmetrical paddle-shaped bone; operculum smooth; rear edge of gill opening on body with 2 distinct forward pointing fleshy lobes; lower gill rakers usually 45-90, but up to 200, front gill rakers on lower limb of 2nd and 3rd gill arches lie ~flat (not curled); last 2 anal fin rays enlarged; last dorsal fin ray not elongated; pelvic fins on the abdomen, insert under center of dorsal fin base, i, 8; a forked tail fin; scales on center of back before dorsal fin paired; belly with a complete row of scutes (hard spiny scales).

Dark blue above, sides silvery; fins clear; a faint golden stripe along midside; a faint gold spot at front of stripe; usually a black spot at top corner of operculum.

Reaches 35.5 cm.

Coastal pelagic in clear waters; inshore and offshore over the entire continental shelf.

Depth range: 0-350 m.

IndoWest Pacific and Atlantic; Maine to Argentina.

Note: Sardinella brasiliensis is a synonym.

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  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Freshwater
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Phytoplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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
  • 35.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 350