Morphology Data of Sauvagella madagascariensis
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 oval
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 cycloid scales

Diagnosis: Body elongate, a little compressed; belly rounded, without pre-pelvic scutes, but a pelvic scute present with slender lateral arms; gillrakers few, 17-20 gillrakers on lower limb of first arch; pelvic fin with 1 unbranched and 7 branched finrays, a little anterior to dorsal fin origin; last two anal finrays not separate from others (Ref. 188, 33664). It is distinguished from other non-scuted clupeids of Spratelloides, Dussumieria and Etrumeus by presence of a normal pelvic scute vs. W-shaped (Ref. 188). It is distinguished from Sauvagella robusta by a higher vertebral number, 41-43 vs. 38-40; a shallower body, 15.8-21.1% of standard length vs. 20.8-27.4%; a longer snout, 26.2-33.7% of head length vs. 18.5-26.6%; and a higher anal fin ray count, 17-19 vs. 13-17 (Ref. 33664).

Description: Gracile, torpedo-shaped fishes with straight dorsal profile and little ventral curvature; snout acutely pointed and narrow, mouth slightly upturned; gape inclination approximately 30° to horizontal; upper jaw to vertical through anterior margin of orbit (Ref. 33664). Pre-maxilla with dentigerous arm extending over anterior half of maxillary shaft; pre-maxillary teeth small unicuspids, 10-12 in single row; ventral margin of maxillary flange usually serrate; single, tear-shaped posterior supra-maxilla; lower jaw teeth in single row, small unicuspids extending over anterior half of dentary (Ref. 33664). Gill rakers: 17-20 on lower limb of first arch; 8-10 elongate hypobranchial rakers, increasing in length to ceratobranchial; 11-14, narrow, elongate rakers on ceratobranchial; usually 1 raker in angle of arch; and 9-12 epibranchial rakers; row of short rakers on inner face of third epibranchial (Ref. 33664). Dorsal fin relatively long-based, usually with 3 unbranched and 10-14 branched rays; anal with 3-4 unbranched and 14-15 branched rays, origin just below or slightly anterior to end of dorsal; ventral margin of anal straight or slightly incised; pectoral fin with 11-12 rays; pelvic fin with 1 unbranched and 7 branched rays, its insertion anterior to dorsal fin origin; caudal fin emarginate with deeply forked lobes (Ref. 33664, 121271). Scales are cycloid and easily shed; 43-45 scales in longitudinal series; 8 transversal scales (Ref. 56161, 121271). Belly rounded, lacking pre-pelvic scutes and post-pelvic scutes; pelvic scute with slender lateral arms (Ref. 9391, 33664, 56161). Vertebral counts 41-43 with 22-24 precaudal and 17-19 caudal centra; first supraneural bone flat and platelike, remaining 11-12 short and tubular; hyoid arch with 5 branchiostegal rays, first narrow and filamentous, rest variously expanded, flat and broad; single row of small teeth on ectopterygoid and rodlike palatine except in smallest individuals which sometimes lack palatine dentition (Ref. 33664).

Colouration: In life, rather nondescript uniformly pale yellow with silvery iridescence on head and flanks; some larger specimens dark orange, even reddish (Ref. 33664). Preserved specimens are pale creamy yellow with varying amounts of pigment ringing dorsal scale margins, darkening the dorsum; a thin midlateral band of dark pigment is often present on flanks; dorsal, anal and caudal fins usually with a line of dark pigment along base on the body wall; silvery or black peritoneal lining of abdominal cavity often visible through body wall; pupil situated anteriorly in eye, iris silver (Ref. 33664).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Sauvagella madagascariensis

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series 43 - 45
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb 17 - 20
on upper limb 9 - 12
total 41 - 43


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 13 - 17
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 - 19

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   11 - 12
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  before 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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