Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Alosinae
Etymology: Alosa: Latin, alausa = a fish cited by Ausonius and Latin, halec = pickle, dealing with the Greek word hals = salt; it is also the old Saxon name for shad = "alli" ; 1591 (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic. Temperate; 48°N - 40°N, 27°E - 43°E (Ref. 188)
Eurasia: Black Sea and Sea of Azov.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 14.0, range 13 - 15 cm
Max length : 33.2 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 96734); 33.8 cm TL (female); common length : 18.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); max. published weight: 331.70 g (Ref. 96734); max. published weight: 331.70 g; max. reported age: 6 years (Ref. 10547)
spines: 0. Body fairly elongate, more `herring-like' than `shad-like'. Gill rakers thin and straight, often closely packed and pointed, usually shorter than gill filaments. Teeth well developed in both jaws. Other Black Sea Alosa have more gill rakers (A. caspia 50 to 80 and A. pontica 47 to 66). Sardinella aurita is more slender, has many more gill rakers and i 8 pelvic fin rays.
Non-anadromous, entering limans and lower parts of river deltas, but only occasionally in freshwater. They are more or less abundant in lower reaches of rivers and coastal lagoons. A cold-loving species, tolerating 3 or 4°C.(Ref. 188). At sea, pelagic in deep water and enters brackish lagoons to spawn. Mature adults spawn first at 2 years and many individuals spawn for 2-4 seasons. Eggs sink to bottom. Spent individuals return to the sea to feed. In autumn, they migrate to southern Black Sea to overwinter. Juveniles migrate to the sea or estuaries during the first summer (Ref. 59043). Adults feed mainly on small fishes (mainly sprats and anchovies) also on shrimps, gammarids and other large crustaceans (Ref. 188). In northern Black Sea, the decline in habitat quality in suitable estuarine ecosystems is expected to have an impact in the immediate future (Ref. 59043).
Juveniles migrate to sea or remain in estuaries during their first summer (Ref. 59043). In autumn, they migrate to southern Black Sea to overwinter. As spring approaches, they start to move into brackish lagoons to spawn until early summer. After spawning, spent fish return to sea to feed. Many individuals spawn for 2-4 seasons (Ref. 59043).
Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00661 (0.00441 - 0.00989), b=3.08 (2.96 - 3.20), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.4 ±0.8 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=6).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (31 of 100).