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Sardinella

Sardinella zunasi

Sardinella is a genus of fishes in the family Clupeidae. This genus currently contains 21 recognized species. These fish are generally coastal, schooling fish, and abundant in warmer waters. They can be found nearly anywhere in the tropic and sub-tropic oceans of the world. Many species are distinguished by their locations around the globe but may also be distinguished according to very specific body features. It is common for species within this genus to be mistaken for one another. Some of the common traits of Sardinella include that they are marine pelagic and form into large schools. Young Sardinella are often found in lagoons and estuaries, while it is more common to find adult Sardinella in deeper waters somewhat further off the coast. Sardinella can be distinguished by their 7-14 striped markings along the scales of the top of the head. They also have a distinctly paddle shaped supra maxilla, this feature is a common identifier of Sardinella versus other genera and specific shapes of this feature may also distinguish between Sardinella species. Sardinella have paired predorsal scales and also have enlarged fin rays which help distinguish them from close relatives.