Old World silverside

Old World silverside
Temporal range: Middle Eocene–Recent
[1]
Labidesthes sicculus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Atheriniformes
Family: Atherinidae
Genera

See text

The Old World silversides are a family, Atherinidae, of fish in the order Atheriniformes. They occur worldwide in tropical and temperate waters. About two thirds of the species are marine, and the remainder live in fresh water.

Silversides are relatively small, with the largest species, the jacksmelt, Atherinopsis californiensis, reaching 44 centimetres (17 in)[1], while most are under 20 centimetres (7.9 in), and several are not recorded at more than 5 centimetres (2.0 in). The body is generally elongate. Distinctive characters include two dorsal fins widely separated, with the first consisting of flexible spines and the second having one spine followed by soft rays, while the anal fin has one spine on the leading edge followed by soft rays. The pectoral fins tend to be high, and there is no lateral line. On the flanks there is a broad silvery band. The scales are relatively large.

They feed on zooplankton. Some species, such as the hardyhead silverside, Atherinomorus lacunosus, are commercially fished.

The family Atherinopsidae (neotropical silversides) is closely related.

Classification

The family Atherinidae contains about 165 species, grouped into 25 genera, including the following:[2]:

References

  1. ^ a b Allen, Gerald R. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N.. ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 153–154. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2008). "Atherinidae" in FishBase. November 2008 version.
  3. ^ Ivantsoff, W.; G. R. Allen (2011). "A new species and genus of a large and unusual freshwater hardyhead, Sashatherina giganteus (Pisces: Atherinidae) from West Papua, Indonesia and a comparison with its closest relatives of the genus Craterocephalus". aqua International Journal of Ichthyology 17 (1): 43–57. 

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