S. aurita went through a large boom in catch population around 1990. However, its numbers have been very stable through the last several years. S. aurita inhabits warm waters. It is a small, pelagic species that lives in tropical and subtropical waters of the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean, the Paciﬁc Ocean, the Mediterranean, and occasionally, the Black Sea. The gonads start to develop in April and are fully mature one month later. Plankton in spawning regions are full of eggs and larvae from the end of June into September.
Sardinella aurita has a particularly elongated body, a relatively rounded belly, and a large number of fine gill rakers (up to 160). This is one of the largest Sardinella species, averaging 23 to 28cm. It has eight pelvic fin rays. It has frontoparietal stripes on the top of its head, a faint golden midlateral line, and a distinctive black spot on the hind border of the gill cover. It is often caught along with Sardinella longiceps, and the two are not easily distinguished.
Fisheries for this species exist off the West African coast, in the Mediterranean Sea, and along the coasts of Venezuela and Brazil. Fishery numbers in 1983 totaled 1,983,000 tons.
- IUCN (2016). "Sardinella aurita". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- Whitehead, P. J.P.; G. J. Nelson; T. Wongratana (1988). Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). Rome: United Nations Development Programme. pp. 93–95. ISBN 92-5-102667-X.
- Sabate's, Ana; Paloma Marti'n; Josep Lloret; Vanesa Raya (2006). "Sea warming and fish distribution: the case of the small pelagic fish. Sardinella aurita, in the western Mediterranean". Global Change Biology. 12: 2209–2219. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01246.x. Retrieved November 20, 2011.