Morphology Data of Sardinella maderensis
Identification keys
Main Ref. Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985
Appearance refers to
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 superior
Type of scales cycloid scales

Diagnosis: Body elongate, but variable in depth, belly fairly sharply keeled; with 14-20 pre-pelvic and 12-15 post-pelvic scutes, total scutes 31-34; lower gillrakers 70-166, increasing with growth; upper pectoral finrays white on outer side, the membrane between black (Ref. 188, 3259, 81269, 81631). It resembles Sardinella aurita, but pelvic fin with 1 unbranched and 7 branched rays vs. 1 unbranched and 8 branched rays in S. aurita and no black spot on hind part of gill cover, but faint gold or black area just behind gill opening (Ref. 187, 188). It is distinguished from S. rouxi by having more lower gillrakers, which is only 30-40 in S. rouxi, and the caudal fin grey, its tips almost black vs. pale yellow with distal margin dusky in S. rouxi (Ref. 187, 188, 81269).

Description: Body elongate, but variable in depth, belly fairly sharply keeled (Ref. 188, 81269, 81631). Eye moderate, more than 3 times in head length; mouth terminal (Ref. 187). Gillrakers fine and numerous; lower limb of first gill arch with 70-166 gillrakers, increasing with growth (Ref. 187, 188, 3259, 81269, 81631). Dorsal fin with 3-4 unbranched and 14-19 branched rays, dorsal fin origin a little before midpoint of body; anal fin with 3 unbranched and 14-19 branched rays, anal fin origin well behind dorsal fin base; pectoral fin with 1 unbranched and 13-16 branched rays; and pelvic fins with 1 unbranched and 7 branched rays (Ref. 187, 1989, 2849, 3259, 81269, 81631, 102353). Scales cycloid; 40-50 in a longitudinal series to base of caudal fin; 11-13 in transverse series (Ref. 3259, 43853, 81269, 81631, 121227). Belly compressed, with sharp keel of scutes, becoming more rounded in adults; 14-20 pre-pelvic scutes and 12-15 post-pelvic mid-ventral scutes (Ref. 2849, 3259, 81269, 81631). Vertebrae 44-48 (Ref. 815, 1989, 121227).

Colouration: Alcohol-preserved specimens are silvery (Ref. 81269, 81631). Upper pectoral-fin rays externally white, while fin membranes are black; caudal fin greyish with black tipped lobes; no postopercular spot, but a golden or sometimes blackish area just behind gill opening (Ref. 188, 2849, 81269, 81631). Dorsal fin yellow with dusky margin and a black spot at base of anterior finrays (Ref. 2945).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Sardinella maderensis

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series 40 - 50
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb 70 - 166
on upper limb
total 44 - 48


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 18 - 23
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes forked; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 17 - 23

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   14 - 17
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  behind 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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