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  • Opisthonema libertate  Berry & Barrett, 1964:120, fig. lc (full synonymy; references to O. berlangai, O. bulleri and O. medirastre exluded); Cobo & Massey, 1949:7, fig. 5 (Ecuador, listed); Peterson, 1956:178 (Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica), Chirichigno, 1963:14, fig. 6 (Puerto Pizarro and Puerto Rico, Peru).
    FAO Names
    En - Pacific thread herring, Fr - Chardin du Pacifique, Sp - Machuelo hebra pinchagua.
    3Alpha Code: THP     Taxonomic Code: 1210504201
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Meletta libertatis  Günther, 1867, Proc.zool.Soc.Long., (3):603 (La Libertad, El Salvador; part 3 issued April 1867, nit in 1866).
    Diagnostic Features
    Can be confused with: The filamentous last dorsal finray distinguishes it from members of any other eastern Pacific clupeoid genus. Separated from other eastern Pacific Opisthonema species by having 63 to 110 lower gillrakers in fishes over 14 cm standard length (41 to 69 in O. medirastre, only 25 to 36 in O. bulleri; in O. berlangai there are 50 to 87, but it occurs only in the Galapagos Islands.

    Geographical Distribution

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    Eastern Pacific (Santa Rosalita, Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, southward to Pta Sal and Pta Picos, Peru).
    Habitat and Biology
    Coastal,pelagic, schooling. Apparently the most abundant of the eastern Pacific species of Opisthonema.Feeds on crustaceans and pteropods.
    To 25 cm standard length, usually 12 to 18 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Of some importance as a live bait until introduction of purse seines for tuna. Contributed to the total Opisthonema catch in the eastern Pacific of 40 481 t in 1983 (the major part from Ecuador). The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 60 999 t. The countries with the largest catches were Panama (38 746 t) and Ecuador (22 253 t).
    Local Names
     See Cervigón & Fischer (1979).
    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.
    Berry & Barrett, (1964 - taxonomy only) earlier works probably combined data for O. bulleri and O. medirastre, e.q.
    Peterson, (1956 - biol., etc.).
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