Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


Spratelloides atrofasciatus Schultz, 1943, a valid species of round herring (Clupeiformes: Clupeidae)



The western Pacific marine clupeoid fish, Spratelloides atrofasciatus Schultz, 1943, previously regarded as a synonym of S. gracilis (Temminck and Schlegel, 1846), is redescribed here as a valid species on the basis of the holotype and 115 non-type specimens collected from the Ryukyu Islands. Both S. atrofasciatus and S. gracilis are similar chiefly in having a midlateral band that does not fade anteriorly. S. atrofasciatus differs from Spratelloides gracilis in having fewer anal fin rays, pectoral fin rays, vertebrae and gillrakers. Spratelloides atrofasciatus also has a shorter head length, a shorter upper jaw length, a shorter snout length, a wider lateral band equal to the eye diameter; numerous black pigment spots on the inner side of the gill opening that are visible from the outside in preserved specimens (vs not visible in S. gracilis). The two species are sympatrically distributed in the Ryukyu Islands. Spratelloides atrofasciatus matures from 32 mm SL and grows to a known maximum size of 45mm SL, while S. gracilis matures from about 50 mm SL and grows to over 100 mm SL.



Pisces, sympatric distribution, Ryukyu Islands, redescription, Spratelloides gracilis, S. atrofasciatus

Full Text:

PDF/A (3.61 MB)


Aonuma, Y. (2002) Clupeidae. In: Nakabo, T. (Ed.), Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species. English Edition. Tokai University Press, Tokyo, pp. 243–247 & pp. 1463.

Arambourg, C. (1927) Les poissons fossiles d’Oran. Matériaux pour la Carte géologique d’Algérie, Série 1re (Paléontologie), 6, 1–298 + Atlas.

Bennett, E.T. (1831) Observations on a collection of fishes from the Mauritius, presented by Mr. Telfair, with characters of new genera and species. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1830-31, pt 1, 165–169.

Bleeker, P. (1849) A contribution to the knowledge of the ichthyological fauna of Celebes. Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, 3, 65–74.

Bleeker, P. (1851) Nieuwe bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Celebes. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië, 2, 209–224.

Boeseman, M. (1947) Revision of the fishes collected by Burger and von Siebold in Japan. Zoologische Mededelingen, 28, 1–242. [Leiden]

Dalzell, P. (1985) Some aspects of the reproductive biology of Spratelloides gracilis (Schlegel) in the Ysabel Passage,Papua New Guinea. Journal of Fish Biology, 27, 229–237.

Dalzell, P. (1987) Notes on the biology of Spratelloides lewisi (Wongratana, 1983), a recently described species of sprat from Papua New Guinea waters. Journal of Fish Biology, 30, 691–700.

Dalzell, P. & Lewis, A.D. (1989) A review of the South Pacific tuna baitfisheries: Small Pelagic Fisheries Associated with Coral Reefs. Marine Fisheries Review, 51 (4), 1–10.

Eschmeyer, W.N. & Fricke, R. (2011) Catalog of Fishes electronic version (30 September 2011). Available from: (Accessed 8 Oct. 2015)

Gaudant, J. (1979) Observations complementaires sur l’ichthyofauna des marnes messiniennes des environs d’Alba (Piemont, Italie). Geobios, 12 (3), 411–421.

Gillett, R. (2010) Replacing purse seining with pole-and-line fishing in the central and Western Pacific: Some aspects of the baitfish requirements. Marine Policy, 35 (2), 148–154.

Grande, L. (1985) Recent and fossil Clupeomorph fishes with materials for revision of the subgroups of Clupeoids. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 181 (art. 2), 231–372.

Houttuyn, M. (1782) Beschryving van eenige Japanese visschen, en andere Zee-Schepzelen. Verhandelingen der Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen, Haarlem, 20, 311–350.

Hubbs, C.L. & Lagler, K.F. (1964) Fishes of the Great Lakes Region. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, xv + 213 pp., 44 pls.

ICZN (1965) Opinion 749. Atherina japonica Houttuyn 1782. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 22 (Part 4), 218–219.

Milton, D.A., Blaber, S.J. & Rawlinson, N.J.F. (1990) Diet and prey selection of six species of tuna baitfish in three coral reef lagoons in the Solomon Islands. Journal of Fish Biology, 37, 205–224.

Milton, D.A., Blaber, S.J. & Rawlinson, N.J.F. (1991) Age and growth of three species of tuna baitfish (genus: Spratelloides) in the tropical Indo-Pacific. Journal of Fish Biology, 39, 849–866.

Milton, D.A., Blaber, S.J. & Rawlinson, N.J.F. (1993) Age and growth of three species of clupeids from Kiribati, tropical central south Pacific. Journal of Fish Biology, 43, 89–108.

Mohan, M. & Kunhikoya, K.K. (1985) Biology of the bait fishes Spratelloides delicatulus (Bennett) and S. japonicus (Houttuyn) from Minicoy waters. In: Silas, E.G. (Ed.), Tuna Fisheries of the exclusive economic zone of India: Biology and Stock Assessment. Bulletin of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, 36, pp. 155–216. [India]

Munroe, T.A., Wongratana, T. & Nizinski, M.S. (1999) Clupeidae. In: Carpenter, E. & Niem, V.H. (Eds.), FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the western central Pacific. Vol. 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome, pp. 1397–2068.

Nishijimamoto, S. (1963) Round herrings (Family Dussumieridae) found in the Ryukyu Islands. Bulletin of Arts and Science Division, University of the Ryukyus, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, 6, 64–72.

Ogilby, J.D. (1897) New genera and species of Australian fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 22, 62–95.

Schultz, L.P. (1943) Fishes of the Phoenix and Samoan Islands collected in 1939 during the expedition of the United States Steamer “Bushnell”. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, No. 180, x + 316 pp., 9 pls.

Schultz, L.P. & Welander, A.D. (1953) Family Dussumieridae. In: Schultz, L.P., Herald, E.S., Lachner, E.A., Welander, A.D. & Woods, A.L. (Eds.), Fishes of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. Vol. I. Families from Asymmetrontidae through Siganidae. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, No. 202 (1), pp. 23–29.

Shirafuji, N., Watanabe, Y., Takeda, Y. & Kawamura, T. (2007) Maturation and spawning of Spratelloides gracilis Clupeidae in temperate waters off Cape Shionomisaki, central Japan. Fisheries Science, 73, 623–632.

Sorbini, L. (1987) Biogeography and climatology of Pliocene and Messinian fossil fish of Eastern-Central Italy. Bollettino del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Verona, 14, 1–85.

Temminck, G.J. & Schlegel, H. (1846) Pisces, Part 13. In: de Siebold, P.F. (Ed.), P. F. de Sieboldt’s Fauna Japonica. Müller, Amsterdam, pp. 227–247,

Uyeno, T. & Sato, Y. (1984, 1988) Spratelloidinae. In: Masuda, H. et al., (Eds.), The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokai University Press, Tokyo, pp. 19, pls. 21 & 337-G.

Weng, J.S., Liu, K.M., Lee, S.C. & Tsai, W.S. (2005) Reproductive biology of the blue sprat Spratelloides gracilis in the waters around Penghu, Central Taiwan Strait. Zoological Studies, 44, 475–486.

Whitehead, P.J.P. (1963) A revision of the recent round herrings (Pisces: Dussumieriidae). Bulletin of British Museum of Natural History, Zoology, 10, 305–380.

Whitehead, P.J.P. (1985) FAO species catalogue, vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. Part 1- Cherocentridae, Clupidae and Pristigasteridae. FAO, Rome, 303 pp.

Whitehead, P.J.P., Boeseman. M., & Wheeler, A.C. (1966) The types of Bleeker’s Indo-Pacific Elopoid and Clupeoid fishes. Zoologische Verhandelingen, 84, 1–159 + plates 1–19.

Wongratana, T. (1980) Systematics of Clupeoid Fishes of The Indo-Pacific Region. Ph.D thesis, University of London, xii + 432 pp., 334 pls.

Wongratana, T. (1983) Diagnoses of 24 new species and proposals for new names of Indo-Pacific clupeoid fishes. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 29, 385–407.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa