Gilchristella aestuaria

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Gilchristella aestuaria
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Clupeidae
Genus: Gilchristella
Fowler, 1935
Species: G. aestuaria
Binomial name
Gilchristella aestuaria
(Gilchrist, 1913)

Spratelloides aestuarius Gilchrist, 1913

Gilchristella aestuaria, the Gilchrist's round herring or estuarine round-herring,[2] is a member of the herring family Clupeidae that occurs off the coasts of Southern Africa. It is the only species in its genus, which was named for John Dow Fisher Gilchrist (1866–1926).[3]


There are no indications of major threats to this species. It is considered to be of least concern for becoming an endangered species.[1]


The average length of the G. aestuaria as an unsexed male is about ten centimeters.[4]


The Gilchristella aestuaria can be found in a marine environment and in freshwater. The habitat is located in subtropical climates. This species is primarily found in estuaries, lagoons, lakes, and rivers.[4] It is considered an extremely important fish in estuaries of South Africa .[5] This small sardine-like fish lives in large shoals and provides an important link in the food chain as a food source to larger fish and water birds.[5] This fish does not survive in an aquarium, presumably dying from capture myopathy or stress.[5]


The Gilchristella aestuaria is distributed throughout the following areas:

  • Africa
  • Lake Piti
  • Mozambique
  • Southern African coast
  • Saldanha Bay
  • Orange River[4]
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Eastern Cape Province
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Northern Cape Province [1]


  1. ^ a b c "Gilchristella aestuaria". International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Gilchristella aestuaria Estuarine round-herring". Animal Diversity. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "John Dow Fisher Gilchrist". Neglected Science. 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Gilchristella aestuaria". Fish Base. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Paul Skelton (1993). A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers. p. 390. ISBN 1-86812-350-2. 

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