Family: ATHERINIDAE, True silverside, True Silversides, Old World Silversides
TRUE SILVERSIDES, OLD WORLD SILVERSIDES
Small fishes (to 10 cm); elongate, slender; mouth opens at front, top jaw not extendable; premaxilla (front top jaw bone) with rear end narrow and pointed (not expanded), with a bony process above its center; small teeth present on both jaws and sometimes the front of the roof of the mouth; gill rakers generally large; large eyes; two well-separated dorsal fins, the first with II-V spines, the second with I spine at front; anal fin with I front spine; pectoral fin inserted high on body, above mid-level of eye; pelvic fin on belly, I, 5; tail fin forked; no lateral line; scales smooth, sometimes with ruffled rear edges; with a silver stripe along mid-side.
This family, which occurs worldwide, has 13 genera with about 70 species. Three species (one endemic and two W Atlantic) in three genera are found in the Greater Caribbean.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER CHERNOFF (2002)