Big-scale sand smelt

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Atherina
Temporal range: Miocene - Recent
Atherina boyeri Sardinia.jpg
Atherina boyeri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Atheriniformes
Family: Atherinidae
Subfamily: Atherininae
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 in lagoons and estuaries. It comes to the low stream of the Dnieper, Southern Bug, Dniester and Danube Rivers.

Fossil record[edit]

Fossils of Atherina have been found in the Miocene of Kazakhstan (age range: from 13.65 to 11.608 million years ago.). [1]

Fossil of Atherina boyery

Species[edit]

There are currently 5 recognized species in this genus:

Incertae sedis

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 commercially important species.[3]

References[edit]

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