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Synonyms
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  • Clupea allecia  Rafinesque, 1810:57 (Sicily; potential nomen oblitum, but not yet formally suppressed as such).
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  • Alosa senegalensis  Bannatt, 1831(Senegal; overlooked and hould be designated a nomen oblitum).
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  • Clupea aurovittata  Swainson, 1838(nomen nudum) and 1839:385 (Palermo; overlooked another potential nomen oblitum).
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  • Meletta mediterranea  Valenciennes, 1847:369 (Toulon Marseille).
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  • Sardinela cuxina  Antipa, 1906:46, pl. 3, fig. 12.
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  • Clupea venulosa  Steinitz, 1927:323 (Haifa).
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  • Sardinella autita terrasae  Lozano y Rey, 1950:14, pl. 3, fig. 2 (Western Sahara, Canaries).
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  • Sardinella autita var.mediterranea  Rossignol, 1959:215 (Mediterranean).
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  • Sardinella aurita  Raja & Hiyama, 1969
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  • Sardinella aurita  CLOFNAM, 1973:103 (full synonymy for Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic); FNAM, 1984:222 fig.; CLOFETA , in press (eastern central Atlantic, full synonymy); SFSA, in press (southern Africa); Whitehead & Bauchot, in press (types of aurita mediterranea).
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  • Sardinella anchovia  Valenciennes, 1947:269 (Rio de Janeiro); FWNA, 1963:401, fig. 99 (synopsis of taxonomy and biology).
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  • Sardinella anchovia  Cervigón, 1966
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  • Sardinia pseudohispanica  Poey, 1860:311 (Cuba).
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  • Sardinella pinnula  Bean, 1912:122 (Bermuda); FWNA, 1964:400, fig. 98 (synonymy, biol.).
    FAO Names
    En - Round sardinella, Fr - Allache, Sp - Alacha.
    3Alpha Code: SAA     Taxonomic Code: 1210501210
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Sardinella aurita  Valenciennes, 1847, 1847, Hist.nat.poiss., 20:263 (Messina to Gulf of Morée, Greece).
    Diagnostic Features
    Body elongate, usually subcylindrical, but some times a little compressed; belly rather rounded, but scutes apparent.  Lower gillrakers fine and numerous, more than 80 (162 to 248 in West African specimens of 23 to 28 cm standard length); anterior gillrakers on lower limbs of second and third gill arches lying more or less flat (strongly curled in S. brasiliensis ).  The pelvic finray count f i 8 distinguishes S. aurita from all other species of Sardinella, also Harengula, Opisthonema, Herklotsichthys and Amblygaster, that occur with it.  Resembles Clupea, but has two fleshy outgrowths along outer margin of gill opening (smooth in Clupea) and numerous fine fronto-parietal striae on top of head. Flanks silvery, with a faint golden midlateral line, preceded by a fint golden spot behind gill opening; a distinct black spot at hind border of gill cover (absence of silver pigment). 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Eastern Atlantic (Mediterranean, but rare in Black Sea; African coasts from Gibraltar southward to Saldanha Bay, South Africa (see also under remarks); western Atlantic (Cape Cod to Argentina).
    Habitat and Biology
    Coastal,pelagic,preferring clear saline water with a minimum temperature below 24° C;  from inshore and near surface to edge of shelf and down to 350 m (West Africa), or perhaps even deeper;schooling and strongly migratory, often rising to surface at night and dispersing.Feeds mainly zooplankton, especially copepods, but some phytoplankton (especially by juveniles).
    Breeds perhaps at all times of the year (e.g. off West Africa), but with distinct peaks, e.g. mid-June - end of September, i.e. the summer months, in the Mediterranean and perhaps off North America; from about May off Senegal (but again in October-November) through to July-August off Mauritania around July or August off Ivory Coast and Ghana; but apparently September to February, i.e. the winter months, in the Gulf of Mexico (Houde & Fore, 1973), January-February off Venezuela (Simpson, 1969), and, if it spawns with S. brasiliensis, then September to March off Brazil. The breeding pattern is extremely complex, with two principal spawning periods in areas (linked with upwelling regimes off West Africa). The juveniles tend to stay in nursery areas (main nurseries off Mauritania and Senegal/Gambia for the West African region), but on maturity rejoin adult stocks in the colder offshore waters. 
    Size
    To 30 cm standard length, usually to 25 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Major fisheries off West Africa, in Mediterran and off Venezuela and Brazil, although catches not always distinguished from those of other Sardinella species (especially of S. brasiliensis western Atlantic). The total catch for 1983 was 702 775 t, being 15 209 t for the Mediterrranean (mixed with S. maderensis), 401 039 t for West Africa (mixed with S. maderensis ) and 286 527 t for the western Atlantic the S. brasiliensis ).The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 480 508 t. The countries with the largest catches were Russian Federation (109 445 t), Senegal (93 512 t) and Ghana (57 170 t).
    Local Names
    USA : Spanish sardine .
    Remarks
    The separation of S. Aurita from S. brasiliensis by means of gillrakers shape (see diagnostic features) is tentative; it appears to reinforce the difference in gillrakers numbers (more in S. brasiliensis, but in both cases they increase as the fish grows) which workers have hitherto used. The " brasiliensis " curled form of gillrakers has been found also in both Mediterranean and West African fishes. Possibly this is a racial difference, which might account for the double peaks in spawning in some areas. The species has been best studied off West Africa, where there are three quite distinct "stocks": 1) North Transitional Zone (Mauritania to Guinea; also, off Sierra Leone - perhaps a separate stock). 2) Central Upwelling Zone (Ivory Coast, also Ghana). 3) South Transitional Zone (southern Gabon to southern Angola).
    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.
    Bibliography
    Anon, (1979 - same, also growth, fecundity)
    Banarescu, (1964 - Black Sea)
    Ben-Tuvia, (1960 - general synopsis)
    Boely & Fréon, (1980- same)
    CLOFETA, (in press - virtually complete biblioqraphy for West Africa). For western Atlantic area, Hildebrand (i.e. FWNA,1964).
    Fagetti & Marak, (1972 - synopsis of spawning off West Africa)
    FNAM, (1984 - synopsis)
    Postel, (1960 - synopsis, West Africa)
    For eastern Atlantic area, Svetovidov, (1952, 1963 Mediterranean, Black Sea)
     
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