Body long, slender; pelvic fins arising below centre of dorsal fin; last two anal-fin rays visibly longer than preceding rays. Upper surface greenish-blue with a row of darks spots, silvery below. To 25 cm.
Pilchards congregate in large schools and feed by sieving plankton from the water column. They are very important food fishes for many large marine predatory species and are also taken commercially for use as bait. They migrate along the coast from west to east, forming large breeding schools in surface waters from spring to autumn, otherwise they are found in deeper water.
Surface waters when breeding, other times in deeper water, in depths of 0-100 m.
New Zealand and southern Australia.
Recorded in Australia
- DSE Advisory List : Not listed
- EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
- IUCN Red List : Not listed