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  • Sardinella longiceps  Whitehead, 1965
  • Sardinella neohowii  Valenciennes, 1847, Hist.nat.poiss., 20:274 (Cannanore).
  • Alausa scombrina  Valenciennes, , Hist.nat. poiss., 20:442 (Cannanore).
    FAO Names
    En - Indian oil sardine, Fr - Sardinelle indienne, Sp - Sardinela aceitera.
    3Alpha Code: IOS     Taxonomic Code: 1210501204
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Sardinella longiceps  Valenciennes, 1847, Hist.nat.poiss., 20:273 (Pondicherry).
    Diagnostic Features
    Body elongate, subcylindrical, its depth less than 30% of standard length, belly rounded.  The pelvic finray count of i 8 distinguishes S. longiceps from all other clupeids in the northern Indian Ocean.  Very closely resembles Sardinella neglecta of East African coasts, but head longer (29 tp 35% of standard length; cf. 26 to 29% in S. neglecta ) and more lower gillrakers (150 to 253 in fishes of 8 to 15.5 cm standard length, usually more than 180; cf. 143 to 188 in S. neglecta of 9.5 to 13 cm standard length, usually less than 185). Distinguished in the same way from Sardinella lemuru (whose range it may overlap in the Andaman Sea), but the latter has even fewer gillrakers (77 to 188 in S. lemuru of 6.5 to 22 cm standard length).  A faint golden spot behind gill opening, followed by a faint golden midlateral line; a distinct black spot at hind border of gill cover (absence of pigment). 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Indian Ocean (northern and western parts only, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, but apparently not Red Sea or the "Gulf", eastward to southern part of India, on eastern coast to Andhra; possibly to Andamans).
    Habitat and Biology
    Coastal,pelagic, schooling, strongly migratory.Feeds mainly on phytoplankton (especially diatoms), both as juveniles and adults, but also on zooplankton (especially copepods by the juveniles).
    Breeds once a year, the spawners arriving off western coasts of India in June-July when temperatures and salinity are low during the southwest monsoon months; extended spawning season, but most intense in August-September; exact spawninq grounds not located (Nair, 1973:18 - who summarized the biology of the species). 
    Perhaps to 23 cm standard length, usually to 20 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    The most important and abundant clupeoid in Indian waters (up to 30% of all marine fishes), although with considerabte variations catches from year to year, e.g. 7 400 t in 1956, but 189 000 t in 1960 (Jhingran, 1982:527). The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 209 806 t. The countries with the largest catches were India (148 683 t) and Pakistan (30 629 t).
    relatedAdditional information on Introduced Species (DIAS)
    Local Names
    INDIA : Mathi (Malayalam),  Boothai (Kannada),  Taralai ,  Haid (Marathi).
    Source of Information
    FAO Species catalogue Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world. (Suborder CLUPEOIDEI) An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, anchovies and wolf-herrings. Part 1. Chirocentridae, Clupeidae and Pristigasteridae.Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985.  FAO Fish. Synop., (125)Vol.7 Pt. 1:303 p.
    Nair, (1960, 1973 - the best summary of biological data)
    other references to biological studies summarized by Whitehead, (1973b:178)
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