Sardinella aurita  Valenciennes, 1847

Round sardinella
Add your observation in Fish Watcher
Upload your photos and videos
Pictures | Stamps, Coins | Google image
Image of Sardinella aurita (Round sardinella)
Sardinella aurita
Picture by Luyben, J.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes (Herrings) > Clupeidae (Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Dorosomatinae
Etymology: Sardinella: Latin and Greek, sarda = sardine; name related to the island of Sardinia; diminutive (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Valenciennes.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 350 m (Ref. 5286).   Subtropical; 24°C - ? (Ref. 54867); 47°N - 40°S, 98°W - 43°E (Ref. 54867)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 14.4, range 14 - 21.5 cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); common length : 25.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); max. published weight: 229.00 g (Ref. 5217); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 839)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-21; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 12 - 23. Diagnosis: Body elongate, usually subcylindrical, but sometimes a little compressed; belly rather rounded, but scutes apparent (Ref. 188, 81269). Lower gillrakers fine and numerous, more than 80; anterior gillrakers on lower limbs of second and third gill arches lying more or less flat (Ref. 188). The pelvic finray count of 1 unbranched and 8 branched rays distinguishes Sardinella aurita from all other species of Sardinella, Harengula, Opisthonema, Herklotsichthys and Amblygaster that occur with it (Ref. 188). It resembles Clupea but it has two fleshy outgrowths along outer margin of gill opening and numerous fine fronto-parietal striae on top of head (Ref. 188). Flanks silvery, with a faint golden midlateral line, preceded by a faint golden spot behind gill opening; a distinct black spot at hind border of gill cover (Ref. 188, 3259).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Atlantic Ocean: West African coast from Gibraltar southward to Saldanha Bay in South Africa (Ref. 188, 81269, 81631); also in Mediterranean Sea (Ref. 188, 81631) and Black Sea (Ref. 188). In western Atlantic Ocean from Cape Cod in USA to Argentina (Ref. 188), including Bahamas, Antilles, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean coast (Ref. 26938).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Schools in coastal waters from inshore to edge of shelf. Prefers clear saline water with a minimum temperature below 24°C. Juveniles tend to stay in nursery areas, but on maturity rejoin adult stocks offshore. Strongly migratory, often rising to surface at night and dispersing. Feeds mainly on zooplankton, especially copepods. Juveniles take phytoplankton (Ref. 27121). Breeds perhaps throughout the year, but with distinct peaks. In some areas there are two main spawning periods. Marketed fresh or canned (Ref. 188). Trematode found in intestinal tract (Ref. 37032).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

The breeding pattern is extremely complex, with two principal spawning periods in some areas (linked with upwelling regimes off west Africa).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). 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. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; bait: usually
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

Download XML

Internet sources

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00724 (0.00611 - 0.00858), b=3.03 (2.99 - 3.07), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.25-1.2; tm=1; tmax=7).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.