Sardinella aurita

Author: Valenciennes, 1847

Sardinella aurita Valenciennes, 1847

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Sardinella aurita Valenciennes, 1847 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body elongate, usually subcylindrical, but sometimes fairly compressed; belly rounded, but with a distinct keel of scutes. Gillrakers fine and numerous, more than 100 on lower part of first arch. Pelvic finrays 9. Colour: back blue/green, flanks silvery, with a faint golden midlateral line, preceded by a faint golden spot behind gill-opening; a distinct black spot at hind border of gill cover (absence of silver pigment below); pectoral fins pale yellow with black speckling. Size: to 30 cm, usually 20-25 cm.

Habitat: coastal pelagic, near surface or down to 350 m at edge of shelf; shoaling, often rising to the surface at night and dispersing; strongly migratory. Food: mainly crustaceans, but also larval and juvenile fishes, as well as phytoplankton. Reproduction: in the upper water layers during the warm months (average 22°C), with a peak in August in most places; no spawning in Black Sea.

Distribution: Mediterranean, Black Sea (occasionally) and Atlantic coasts from about Cadiz southward. Elsewhere, southward to Saldanha Bay, South Africa, also western Atlantic from Cape Cod to Argentina and western Pacific from Japan to the Philippines. Abundant in some areas and important to fisheries.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Raffaele, 1888: 56, pl. I (fig. 24), pl. III (fig. 14) | Fage, 1920: 118, fig. 43-45 | D'Ancona, 1931:12, fig. 15-19, pl. I (fig. 5-6) | De Buen, 1933: 321, fig. 1-5 | Whitehouse, 1933: 9-10, fig. 3-5 | Oliver and Navarro, 1952: 2, fig. 1. | Marinaro, 1971: 16, pl. 1, fig. 3 | Kacic, 1976: 35.
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverría, 1928, 61, pl. IV (fig. 8);1929: 72 | Chaine, 1938: 138, pl. XII.

Forms (apparently sympatric).

Form A (aurita): anterior gillrakers on lower limbs of gill arches strongly curled downward. Form B (brasiliensis): anterior gillrakers on lower limbs of gill arches relatively flat.