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Sarda Cuvier, 1829

Small, relatively narrow-bodied fish. Mouth rather wide, upper jaw reaching to hind margin of eye or beyond. No teeth on tongue. Gill rakers on first arch 8 27. Dorsal fins close together, the first (spiny) very long, (17-23 spines) and straight or only slightly concave in outline 7-9 dorsal and 6-8 anal finlets. Pectoral fins short, 23-26 rays. Inter-pelvic process small and bifid. Lateral line conspicuously wavy. Body entirely covered with scales which are minute except on the well developed corselet. Caudal peduncle with a well-developed median keel between 2 smaller keels on each side. Bony keels on caudal peduncle vertebrae large and well-developed but divided into anterior and posterior sections on each vertebra. Right and left lobes of liver mucl longer than middle lobe. Spleen large and prominent in ventral view Intestine straight, without folds. Swimbladder absent. No cutaneous artery. Two intermuscular bones attached to each side of rear of skull Vertebrae 43-55.

Habitat: epipelagic, mostly in coastal waters. Migratory species often schooling near the surface in inshore waters. Food: mostly fishes, particularly small clupeoids, gadoids, and mackerels. Reproduction: spawning does not occur in northern European waters, but occurs from May to July in the Mediterranean. Eggs and larvae planktonic.

Distribution: in the eastern Atlantic north to the British Isles and Scandinavia; throughout the Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea. Elsewhere, tropical and temperate coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, south through the Gulf of Guinea to South Africa.

Species 4; in Clofnam area 1.

Recent revision: Collette & Chao (1975—tribe Sardini, containing Sarda).

Genus Sarda