PORT PHILLIP BAY


Smallmouth Hardyhead 

Atherinosoma microstoma (Günther, 1861)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: V-IX; I, 8-11
Anal fin spines/rays: I, 8-13
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 12-16
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Gill rakers: (lower limb) 12-15
Vertebrae: 37-42

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other mersitics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Small, slender fishes with a terminal mouth, two separate dorsal fins, medium to large eyes and cycloid scales. Pelvic fins are usually abdominal, and the pectoral fins may be high on the body.

Family level detail.
Hardyheads are small, slender silvery fishes found worldwide in tropical and temperate coastal waters including estuaries. Some species live in freshwater. They have two widely separated dorsal fins, pectoral fins high on the body, a forked tail, cycloid scales and a broad silvery stripe along the side.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Atheriniformes
Family:
Atherinidae
Genus:
Atherinosoma
Species:
microstoma

General Description

Body very long, slender; snout short, mouth small, not protrusible; jaws not reaching front of eye, teeth prominent. Translucent with a greenish back and broad silvery to coppery-red stripe along side. To 10 cm.

Biology

This abundant species forms large schools in coastal waters. It is an important food source for many predators.

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Hardyheads

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

Midwater

Max Size

10 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Smallmouth Hardyhead, Atherinosoma microstoma, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6281

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