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Atherinidae

by J.-P. Quignard and A. Pras

Body rather long, slender, moderately flattened. Mouth protrusible, upwardly directed; small teeth. Two separate dorsal fins; all rays of first and 1-2 anterior rays of second dorsal fin unsegmented, weakly spiny, the remaining rays segmented; anal fin similar to second dorsalfin, caudal fin forked; pelvic fin abdominal; base of pectoral fin placed high on body. Rather large cycloid scales. No true lateral line, sometimes a row of small pits, one on each scale. Gillrakers long. No pyloric appendages. Back bluish or greenish, translucent, with small black dots chiefly on rear edge of each scale; belly whitish, often iridescent; a large, characteristic, brilliant silvery stripe running along flanks from head to tail, often outlined with black.
Schooling fishes near surface in littoral, brackish and freshwater in tropical and temperate seas. Plankton feeders. Eggs with numerous filaments, attached to seaweed, rocks and sand.

Genera 57; in Clofnam area 2.

Family Antherinidae