ClupeidaeHerrings, shads, sardines, menhadens

Last updated:

The fish family that includes herrings, shads, sardines, and menhadens is a large, global family with 216 species. Most species are tropical and almost all species are found in oceans, although some are found in freshwater as well. Fish in this family are small to medium-sized, from 2 to 75 cm long. They generally have torpedo shaped bodies that are laterally compressed. Fish in this family are strong, fast swimmers, generally travel in large schools, and they typically feed on plankton. They are some of the most important commercially fished species in the world.

Contributors

Tanya Dewey (author), Animal Diversity Web.

Glossary

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

natatorial

specialized for swimming

tactile

uses touch to communicate