Family: DOROSOMATIDAE, Herrings, Shads, Thread Herrings
top jaw with central notch
lower jaw flared outwards
scutes along belly, sometimes on back before D
HERRINGS, SHADS, THREAD HERRINGS
Fusiform, oval in cross-section; mouth short, ends before eye, usually opens under snout; top jaw with a central notch when seen from above, lower jaw flared outwards; dorsal fin single, over the middle of the body, the last ray often a filament; 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.
There are about 111 species in 30 genera; 9 species in 6 genera occur in marine and brackish habitats the Greater Caribbean.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MUNROE & NIZINSKI (2002)