Sardinella zunasi

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Sardinella zunasi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Clupeidae
Genus: Sardinella
Species: S. zunasi
Binomial name
Sardinella zunasi
(Bleeker, 1854)

Harengula zunasi

Sardinella zunasi (Japanese sardinella or Japanese scaled sardine) is a species of ray-finned fish in the family Clupeidae, the herrings and sardines. It is native to the northwestern Pacific Ocean, where it occurs near shore along the Asian coastlines from southern Japan to Taiwan.[1]

This fish is usually around 10 centimeters long at maturity. It is usually slender, but its body shape is somewhat variable.[2]

This marine fish lives in schools in coastal waters, and can sometimes be found in bays.[1] Some populations are known to overwinter in the Yellow Sea. In the spring, it spawns in the open ocean and in semi-enclosed shoreline habitat. The eggs hatch in about 36 hours. The larvae are adaptable to a wide range of temperatures and salinities.[3]

Studies of its mitochondrial DNA reveal that the species is divided genetically into three main lineages. The split may have occurred when two populations were isolated from the main one by low sea levels during glaciation events.[4]

This is a commercially important fish in Japan and China.[4] It has been heavily fished and is considered an overexploited resource.[3] It is also commonly found in fishery bycatch.[3]


  1. ^ a b Froese, R. and D. Pauly. (Eds.) Sardinella zunasi. FishBase. 2011.
  2. ^ Sardinella zunasi. Fisheries and Aquaculture. FAO.
  3. ^ a b c Ying, Y., et al. (2011). Genetic differentiation of Japanese sardinella (Sardinella zunasi) populations in the Northwest Pacific revealed by ISSR analysis. Journal of Ocean University of China 10(4), 417-24.
  4. ^ a b Wang, M., et al. (2008). Genetic diversity in the mtDNA control region and population structure in the Sardinella zunasi Bleeker. African Journal of Biotechnology 7(24) 4384-92.