Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Opisthonema libertate, Deepbody thread herring, Pacific thread herring

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body depth ~ 38% SL
no notch between top jaws
adult: 63-110 lower gill rakers
pectoral reaches D origin

Opisthonema libertate (Günther, 1867)


Pacific thread herring,     Deepbody thread herring


Body moderately deep, its depth ~ 38% of SL; mouth opens at front, oblique, short, without a front notch between top jaws;  top jaw of 2 toothed bones; teeth small, conical; 63-110 lower gill rakers; rear of gill opening on body with 2 fleshy lobes; dorsal at about midpoint of body, last ray long and filamentous, reaching base of tail fin; anal fin with base shorter than head, origin well behind dorsal fin; pectoral long, passing origin of dorsal fin; 7 branched pelvic rays; belly with keel of scutes before and behind pelvics; scales relatively small (< 50 in lateral series), irregularly arranged.

Bluish on back, silvery white on sides and belly; upper part of body with narrow dark stripes and scattered blackish spots often present on side; usually a black spot or blotch behind upper rear corner of gill cover;  bases of dorsal + tail fins yellow.

Reaches 30 cm, common between 12-18 cm.

A very common schooling species of herring found over soft bottoms close to shore.

Depth: 0-70 m.

Southern California to Chile.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Water column only
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Data
  • Phytoplankton
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 70
Length Max
  • 30