FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
FAO of the UN
Black and white drawing:   (click for more)

See tree map  display tree map
  • Brevoortia patronus  Hildebrand, 1948:13, fig. 3 (key, deser., biol., eta.)
  • Brevoortia patronus  Suttkus, 1956:390, figs 1-20 (Louisiana, early life history)
  • Brevoortia patronus  , Idem ,1958:402 (distr.)
  • Brevoortia patronus  Christmas & Gunter, 1960:338 (distr.)
  • Brevoortia patronus  Suttkus & Sundararaj, 1961:177 (reprod.)
  • Brevoortia patronus  FWNA, 1964:365, fig. 91 (key, deser., biol., eta.)
  • Brevoortia patronus  Dahlberg, 1970:102, fig. 2 (photo) (key, deser., refs)
  • Brevoortia patronus  Swift, Yerger & Parrish, 1977:21 (lower Oehloekonee River, Florida).
    FAO Names
    En - Gulf menhaden, Fr - Menhaden écailleux, Sp - Lacha escamuda.
    3Alpha Code: MHG     Taxonomic Code: 1210502404
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Brevoortia patronus  Goode, 1878. Proc.U.S.natn.Mus., 1:39 (Brazos Santiagos, Texas, but in part also "Mouth of the Rio Grande").
    Diagnostic Features
    Body fairly deep and compressed, scutes apparent along belly.  Upper jaw with distinct median notch, no teeth.  Pelvic fin with rounded hind margin, inner finrays equal or nearly equal to outer finrays when fin folded back.  Pre-dorsal scales modified; scales in lateral series 42 to 48, large, those on back and above anal fin base only a little smaller and more irregular than rest. A black spot behind gill opening, followed by a series of spots along flank and often further spots above and below. Overlaps B. gunteri in range, but that species has more scales (60 to 77) and more pointed pelvic fins (inner rays markedly shorter than outer when fin folded bask), also no line of spots on flank (the same Characters separate it from B. smithi of Gulf coasts of Florida). Other clupeids lack the modified pre-dorsal scales. 
    Geographical Distribution

    Launch the Aquatic Species Distribution map viewer

    Gulf of Mexico (Florida Bay, gulf of Campeche, Mexico), but no certain records from Caribbean.
    Habitat and Biology
    Marine, pelagic, schooling,inshore in summer, but at least some moving out into deeper waters from October (Mississippi delta area), although adults have been recorded near shore in winter (Gulf Coast of Florida);euryhaline, the commercial catch mostly in salinities of 5 to 24°/oo, but also in fully salt water and up to 60°/oo in the hypersaline Laguna Madre, Texas, and down to 0.1°/oo in Grand Lake, Louisiana.  Feeds in dense schools, filtering phytoplankton, but probably also feeds at bottom (mud in stomach).
    Apparently breeds in winter (October to February suggested by Suttkus, 1956, based on larvae entering Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana in December to March; a peak in January fide Suttkus & Sundararaj, 1961, based on gonad states off the Louisiana coast). 
    25 cm standard length, usually about 20 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Since 1959, catches of Brevoortia patronus have been ranging between 400,000 and 900 000 twith a minimum of 373 019 t in 1967 and a maximum in 1984 with 982 888 t In 1995, The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 694 242 t. The countries with the largest catches were USA (694 242 t).
    Local Names
    USA : Largescale menhaden .
    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.
    See synonymy, of which Hildebrand (i.e. FWNA, 1964) and Dahlberg, (1970) are the best summaries. Hybrids with. B. smithi were described by Dahlberg (1970 - common).
    Powered by FIGIS