Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Osmeriformes
(Smelts) > Argentinidae
(Argentines or herring smelts)
Etymology: Argentina: Latin, argentus = silver (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 50 - 700 m (Ref. 56504). Deep-water; 71°N - 24°N, 19°W - 36°E
Eastern Atlantic: northern Norway to Western Sahara including southern Iceland, Faroe Islands, Shetlands and Mediterranean.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); common length : 20.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4458); max. reported age: 16 years (Ref. 35388)
Relatively common on the continental shelf and upper slope, probably schools near the bottom. Depth range from 50-500 m (Ref. 35388) and from 288-700 m in the eastern Ionian Sea (Ref. 56504). Feeds on bottom-living polychaetes, mollusks and crustaceans, also on pelagic invertebrates and fishes. Spawns from winter to spring in the Mediterranean and from March to July off the British coasts. Its eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 4773). They become sexually mature at a length of 12-13cm. With a smell like cucumber (Ref. 35388).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Cohen, D.M., 1990. Argentinidae. p. 235-238. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 1. (Ref. 4458)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 6.4 - 13.3, mean 8 (based on 277 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5001 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00363 (0.00278 - 0.00474), b=3.19 (3.11 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Generation time: 4.0 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median LN(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=7; K=0.27).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100) .