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Temporal range: 47.8–0 Ma

Middle Eocene to Present[1]
Sardinella gibbosa.jpg
Sardinella gibbosa
Sardinella maderensis.jpg
Sardinella maderensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Clupeidae
Genus: Sardinella
Valenciennes, 1847

Sardinella is a genus of fish in the family Clupeidae found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean. They are abundant in warmer waters of the tropical and subtropical oceans. Adults are generally coastal, schooling, marine fish but juveniles are often found in lagoons and estuaries.[2] These species are distinguished by their ranges and by specific body features, but they are often confused with one another. Fish of the genus have seven to 14 striped markings along the scales of the top of the head. The paddle-shaped supramaxilla bones are characteristic; they separate Sardinella from other genera and their shapes help distinguish species. They have paired predorsal scales and enlarged fin rays.[3]


There are currently 22 recognized species in this genus:


  1. ^ Sepkoski, J.J.Jr (2002): A Compendium of Fossil Marine Animal Genera. Bulletins of American Paleontology, 363: 1-560.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2016). Species of Sardinella in FishBase. June 2016 version.
  3. ^ Whitehead, P.J.P. (1985). An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of the Herrings, Sardines, Pilchards, Sprats, Shads, Anchovies and Wolf-herrings. (Part. 1 - Chirocentridae, Clupeidae and Pristigasteridae). (PDF). FAO. pp. 90–114. ISBN 92-5-102340-9. 
  4. ^ Stern, N., Rinkevich, B. & Goren, M. (2016): Integrative approach revises the frequently misidentified species of Sardinella (Clupeidae) of the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology, 89 (5): 2282–2305.