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Author: boyeri Risso, 1810

Atherina (Hepsetia) boyeri Risso, 1810

Diagnosis: head length four times or less in TL. Dorsal finrays (Vl) VII-Vlll (IX), I + (9) 10-13 (15); anal finrays I + (12) 13-15 (18). Scales in longitudinal series (39) 44-48 (49). Gillrakers 21-39. Vertebrae 40-47. (Important variations in meristic characters according to various environmental conditions.) Colour: see family, but animals living in lagoons are brownish or grey-brownish on back. Size: to 13 cm, usually 7-9 cm.

Habitat: littoral, lagoons and inshore stations; land-locked populations (Italy: Trasimeno lake; south of France: Hyères; Egypt: Karoun). Behaviour: schooling, very euryhaline fish, from hyperhaline water (77ä in Corsica) to freshwater. Food: carnivorous. English coast: small crustaceans (Sphaeraina and gammarids), worms, molluscs. Mediterranean, in the sea and large marine lagoons: zooplankton; in small and shallow lagoons: small bottom-living animals (Gammarus and Corophium). Reproduction: April-July in brackish (2ä) and hyperhaline (42ä) waters. Sexually mature when 1 year old. Age and growth: to 3 years. When 1 year 4-6 cm, 2 years 5-7 cm and 3 years 7-9 cm.

Distribution: Mediterranean, Black Sea, Atlantic from south of Spain to Morocco, Madeira. Isolated populations on coasts of England and the Netherlands.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Holt, 1899, pl. 9 (fig. 95-96) | Lo Bianco, 1909, pl. 34 (fig. 416).
Otoliths (sagitta). Chaine, 1958, pl. 5 (fig. 200-203 & 206-209).

Boyer's sand smelt (Atherina boyeri)