Family: ALOSIDAE, Herrings, Menhadens, Shads
top jaw with central notch
lower jaw NOT flared out
scutes along belly
HERRINGS, MENHADENS, SHADS
Fusiform, oval in cross-section; mouth short, ends before eye, opens at the front; top jaw with a central notch when seen from above, lower jaw NOT flared outwards; dorsal fin single, over the middle of the body; a forked tail fin; pelvic fins on the abdomen below the dorsal fin; pectoral fins low on the side just behind the head; no fin spines; anal fin relatively short based, < 30 rays, its origin well behind dorsal fin base; a keel of scutes (hardened spiny scales) along the midline of the belly, and sometimes on back before dorsal fin; scales smooth; often a dark spot posterior to gill opening and in some species a series of similar spots along flank (or even a second row below this).
There are about 32 species in 4 genera; 8 species in 2 genera occur in marine and brackish habitats the Greater Caribbean.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MUNROE & NIZINSKI (2002)