Morphology Data of Ethmalosa fimbriata
Identification keys
Main Ref. Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985
Appearance refers to Male; Female
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs no special organs
Different appearance males alike females
Different colors males alike females

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral fusiform / normal
Cross section compressed
Dorsal head profile more or less straight
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth terminal
Type of scales ctenoid scales

Diagnosis: Ethmalosa fimbriata is distinguished from other clupeids by the presence of a median notch on the upper jaw, into which tip of lower jaw fits (Ref. 188, 81269). A faint dark spot behind gill cover, sometimes followed by others; dorsal fin tip black; caudal fin deep chrome yellow; golden tints on body (Ref. 188). Ethmalosa fimbriata resembles Sardinella aurita, Sardinella rouxi and especially Sardinella maderensis, but these are more slender, have a rounded upper jaw which is not notched and the upper gillrakers are not bent upward like an elbow (Ref. 188).

Description: Body fairly deep, compressed, scutes present along belly (Ref. 188, 2849, 81269, 81631). Mouth terminal; upper jaw with distinct median notch, into which tip of lower jaw fits (Ref. 187, 188). Adipose eyelid very well developed (Ref. 2849, 81269, 81631). Lower gillrakers long, fine and numerous, about 3 times as long as gill filaments, upper gillrakers bent sharply upward, V-shaped (Ref. 188). Dorsal fin short, at about midpoint of body, with 16-19 rays; anal fin well behind dorsal fin base, with 19-23 rays; pelvic fin with 1 unbranched and 7 branched rays; caudal fin tips long and pointed (Ref. 187, 188, 2849, 81269, 81631). Scales lacinate on posterior margin, numbering 37-42 in a longitudinal series; 16-19 prepelvic and 10-13 postpelvic midventral scutes (Ref. 2849, 81269, 81631).

Colouration: Back blue/green, sides silvery, with a faint oval spot a short distance behind gill opening; golden areas on upper part of head; anterior dorsal finrays dark, rest of fin yellow, except at base; anal fin yellow at base; caudal fin deep chrome yellow, but upper edge and hind margin grey (Ref. 187). Alcohol-preserved specimens are silvery, with the back brownish to greenish; a rounded black spot behind the upper part of operculum, sometimes followed by one or less visible spots aligned in a longitudinal series (Ref. 188, 2849, 2849, 81269, 81631).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Ethmalosa fimbriata

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series 37 - 42
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb
total 42 - 44


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 16 - 19
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes forked; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 19 - 23

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   5 - 5
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  beneath origin of D1
Spines     0
Soft-rays   8 - 8
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Binohlan, Crispina B.
Modified by Boden, Gert
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