Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Atherinomorus stipes, Hardhead Silverside

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

silver stripe: front narrow
body deep: 20% SL
pectoral: I,13-14
lower lip: small, outwarding pointing teeth
A edge concave
breast, throat, D & A bases scaled

Atherinomorus stipes (Müller & Troschel in Schomburgk, 1848)

Hardhead Silverside

Elongate, body relatively deep (>20% SL); eye large (~ twice snout length); head wide (63% of head length) and relatively deep, upper profile straight; bony ridge on each side of snout; top jaw not extendable, extending back past front edge of eye, front (premaxilla) bone with rear end narrow and pointed (not expanded), and with a bony process above its center; inner rear surface of lower jaw only slightly raised; teeth small, simple, in narrow bands on jaws, center of lower lip with small, outward pointing teeth; projection at rear of lower jaw small; 1st dorsal fin IV-VI, entirely before anal origin; 2nd dorsal origin after anal origin, I, 8-10; pectoral: i,13-14; anal I, 11-13, margin concave; anus well before anal fin; scales with ruffled rear margins; 37-42 scales on lateral line; breast and throat scaled; a sheath of scales on bases of dorsal, anal and pectoral fins.

Greenish on back with silver stripe (at least ¾ height of scale under dorsal fin) overlying a black one along mid-flank, stripe narrow at front (width < ½ pectoral fin base); two series of black dots along sides of tail; tail tips often black in large fish.

Size: 10 cm.

Habitat: shallow waters over reefs and nearby soft bottoms.

Depth: 0-10 m?

The Gulf of Mexico to Argentina.

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  • Brackish
  • 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
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 10
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10