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) > 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
Freshwater; brackish; pelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Temperate; 3°C - 25°C (Ref. 56460); 49°N - 35°N, 44°E - 56°E (Ref. 188)
Former USSR and Asia: Caspian Sea.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 38.1 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 111344); common length : 21.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); max. published weight: 469.00 g (Ref. 56460); max. reported age: 9 years (Ref. 56460)
spines: 0. Body `shad-like'; upper and lower head profiles straight. Gill rakers moderately thick and short, tips pointed, usually shorter than gill filaments. Teeth well developed in both jaws. Resembles A. sphaerocephala, which has a blunter head, with round upper and lower head profiles; A. caspia has more gill rakers (50 to 180) and A. brashnikovi is more slender and `herring-like'.
Euryhaline and migratory but non-anadromous. One of the most cold-loving Alosa of the Caspian (among the first to migrate in spring to the north). Feeds on large crustaceans and small fishes. Spawns in northern Caspian from end of April (peak in mid-May), moving into shallow water and spawning at depths of 1-6 m and salinities of 0.07-11 ppt. The young later move southward; some perhaps remain in the north.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
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. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00794 (0.00515 - 0.01225), b=3.10 (2.97 - 3.23), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.4 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .