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Synonyms
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  • Clupanodon phalerica  Risso, 1827:425.
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  • Clupea latulus  Cuvier, 1829:318.
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  • Clupea papalina  Bonaparte, 1845:34.
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  • Clupea schoneveldii  Krøyer, 1846:193.
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  • Spratella pumila  Valenciennes, 1847: 366.
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  • Clupea sprattus balticus  G. Schneider, 1904:66.
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  • Clupea sulinae  Antipa, 1906:38.
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  • Spratella serdinka  Nikolsky, 1923:2.
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  • Sprattus sprattus  Svetovidov, 1952:107, pl. 1, fig. 3; Idem, 1963:111 (in English); Demir, 1965:unp. (synopsis).
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  • Sprattus sprattus  CLOFNAM, 1973:104 (full synonymy).
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  • Sprattus sprattus  FNAM, 1984:224, fig. (synopsis).
    FAO Names
    En - European sprat, Fr - Sprat, Sp - Espadín.
    3Alpha Code: SPR     Taxonomic Code: 1210506601
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Clupea sprattus  Linnaeus, 1758, Syst.nat., 10th ed.:318 (Europe).
    Diagnostic Features
    Lower jaw slightly projecting, gill cover without bony radiating striae,  teeth rarely present on vomer;  belly with a strong keel of scutes;  pelvic finrays i 6 (rarely i 7), insertion of fin under or before the dorsal fin origin, last two anal finrays not enlarged.  No dark spots on flanks. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Northeast Atlantic (from North Sea and Baltic south to Morocco; also Mediterranean, Adriatic, Black Sea).
    Habitat and Biology
    Marine pelagic andusually inhoreschooling fishes,sometimes entering estuaries (specially the juveniles ) and tolerating salinities as low as 40  strong migrations between winter feeding and summer spawning grounds.Feeds on planktonic crustaceans.
    Some spawing almost throughout the year, near to the coast or up to 100 km out to sea, mainly in spring and summer, the young drifting inshore.  Move to the surface at night.
    Size
    To 16 cm, usually to 12 cm standard length.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Of importance in North Sea, Baltic and off Norwegian coasts, with a total of 327 420 t in 1983; more than two thirds of this was fished by Denmark and Norway. Mediterranean and Black Sea catches in 1983 were 43 193 t, mostly by Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. Caught in trawls or driftnets, or driven up Norwegian fjords by nets.
    Penned until needed by the canning factories (sold as "brislings"); juveniles sold as "white bait"(often mixed with juvenile herrings).The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 684 164 t. The countries with the largest catches were Danmark (282 299 t) and Sweden (112 452 t).
    Local Names
     Many variants on the names Sprott or Sprat, Espadín, Papalina and Brisling (see Bini, 1970:56).
    Remarks
    Small differences, mainly in numbers of post-pelvic scutes, have been used to define three subspecies: a) S.sprattus sprattus: average post-pelvic scutes more than 11.5; b) S. sprattus phalericus: average post-pelvic scutes not more than 11.3; Mediterranean, Adriatic, Black Sea; c) S. sprattus balticus: average post-pelvic scutes less than 11.5; Baltic Sea.
    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
    Banarescu, (1968 - Black Sea)
    Bini, (1970 - Mediterranean)
    Demir, (1965 - biology, synopsis)
    FNAM, (1984 - synopsis)
    Svetovidov, (19521963 - Russia)
    Wheeler, (1969 - UK)
     
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