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Author: (Gill, 1862)

Selene dorsalis (Gill, 1862)

Diagnosis: body very compressed and deep; depth contained about 1.7-2.3 times in fork length. Gillrakers (including rudiments) 7-9 upper, 31-34 lower on first gill arch. Dorsal fin VIII + I + 23 or 24; anal fin II (reabsorbed and not apparent at about 13 cm. fork length) + I + 18-20; pelvic fins relatively short at all sizes (about one-third or less length of upper jaw), becoming nearly rudimentary; anterior soft rays of dorsal fin never filamentous; first four dorsal spines elongated in fish smaller than 6 cm fork length. Body scales minute and embedded where present, absent anteriorly on most of area from pelvic fin base to junction of curved and straight parts of lateral line. Scutes in straight lateral line 8-17, weak and scarcely differentiated. Colour: body and head silvery, sometimes with a metallic bluish cast dorsally; faint dark spot on edge of opercle near upper margin and a narrow black area on top of caudal peduncle. Juveniles (to about 7-9 cm fork length) generally silvery with an oval black spot over straight part of lateral line. Size: to 32.5 cm fork length, common to 24 cm.

Habitat: usually found near bottom in 20-100 m; young and juveniles occur in surface waters often near bays and river mouths; a schooling species. Food: crustaceans and small fishes. Reproduction: see family.

Distribution: rare in the area; literature records for Portugal and Madeira. Elsewhere, the Cape Verde Is. and African coast from Senega to Walvis Bay, (Namibia). A geminate species, Selene setapinnis, occurs in the western Atlantic.

African lookdown (Selene dorsalis)