Gilchristella aestuaria, Gilchrist's round herring : fisheries, bait

Gilchristella aestuaria (Gilchrist, 1913)

Gilchrist's round herring
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Gilchristella aestuaria   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Gilchristella aestuaria
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes (Herrings) > Clupeidae (Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Ehiravinae
Etymology: Gilchristella: Because of John Gilchrist, father of the South African ichthyology; Cape Town, 1925.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; amphidromous. Subtropical; 25°S - 36°S, 17°E - 34°E (Ref. 188)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: Lake Piti, Mozambique, along south and east coasts of South Africa to Saldanha Bay (Ref. 188, 3509), and as far north as the Olifants River on the west coast (Ref. 7248), possibly to mouth of Orange River (Ref. 188, 3259). Also reported from Madagascar (Ref. 3509, 13333), but its presence is not confirmed; it is probably based on confusion with Sauvagella madagascariensis, while Gilchristella aestuaria does not occur in Madagascar (Ref. 33664). Reported occurrence in India (Ref. 32693) is of dubious validity (Ref. 33664). Currently a single species, but at least two forms, possibly different species, are known (Ref. 52193).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 2.8, range 2 - 3 cm
Max length : 9.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 52193); max. reported age: 6 years (Ref. 7248)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-15; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 20. Diagnosis: Body rather compressed, belly rounded, with 6 to 9 thin unkeeled pre-pelvic scutes followed by an equally thin pelvic scute, all with slender ascending arms; no post-pelvic scutes; snout pointed, lower jaw a little prominent, with a single row of fine teeth in each jaw; posterior supra-maxilla paddle-shaped; gillrakers 39 to 76, gillrakers small but present on posterior face of third epibranchial; pelvic fin with i-7 finrays, under or a little before dorsal fin origin (Ref. 188). Resembles Spratelloides species or juvenile Etrumeus and Dussumieria, but pre-pelvic scutes present; other clupeids occuring in same area have keeled pre-pelvic and post-pelvic scutes (Ref. 188).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in the sea, but found mostly in estuaries; also found in landlocked brackish and freshwater lagoons (Ref. 93596), also rivers and lakes (Ref. 188). Maximum size 10 cm (Ref. 4967). Entire life cycle is completed in the estuary (Ref. 32693). Breeds throughout the year with a peak in spring and early summer (Ref. 7248, 52193). Maturity may be attained within the first or second year and an age of up to 5 or 6 years is recorded (Ref. 7248, 52193). Feeds chiefly on zooplankton by filtering or selecting individual organisms from the water column (Ref. 7248, 52193). It can tolerate salinities under 4 ppt and of up to 52.6 ppt (Ref. 32693). Utilized fresh or dried and salted (Ref. 12484).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

A semelparous species that grows to maturity and spawns in one year (Ref. 34361).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Skelton, P.H., 1993. A complete guide to the freshwater fishes of southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers. 388 p. (Ref. 7248)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 01 March 2007


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; bait: usually
FAO - Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
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Stamps, Coins Misc.
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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00933 (0.00455 - 0.01913), b=3.06 (2.88 - 3.24), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.1   ±0.3 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm=0.5).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .
Climate Vulnerability (Ref. 125649):   (0 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.