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Sand smelt
Atherina hepsetus Stefano Guerrieri 1.jpg
Atherina hepsetus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Atheriniformes
Family: Atherinidae
Genus: Atherina
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Atherina hepsetus
Linnaeus, 1758

Atherina is a genus of fish of silverside family Atherinidae, found in the temperate and tropic zones. Up to 15 cm long, they are widespread in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Sea of Azov, Indo-West Pacific and Northwest Pacific in lagoons and estuaries. It comes to the low stream of the Dnieper, Southern Bug, Dniester, and Danube Rivers.


There are currently 7 recognized species in this genus:

Commercial importance[edit]

Species of Atherina are objects in the traditional Catalan, Occitan, south-Ukrainian, Turkish, and Greek cuisine in fried form. The fish are lightly powdered with wheat flour before being dropped in hot olive oil. In Ukraine and Greece, it is commercally important species.[2]


  1. ^ a b Sasaki, D. & Kimura, S. (2014): Taxonomic review of the genus Hypoatherina Schultz 1948 (Atheriniformes: Atherinidae). Ichthyological Research, 61 (3): 207-241.
  2. ^ Kottelat, M. & Freyhof, J. (2007): Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p.