False herring

Identity card

False herring

Scientific name:
Harengula clupeola
Family:
Clupeidae
Class:
Actinopterygii
Phylum:
Chordata
Year of description:
Cuvier, 1829
IUCN Status:
Least Concern
Distribution:

Western subtropical region of Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, south-eastern Florida, northern Brazil, Carribean, West Indies.

Habitat:

It is a pelagic species which lives at depths of between 0 and 50 metres.

Size:

The false herring has an average size of 9 cm but can reach a maximum length of 18 cm.

Diet:

The false herring is a nocturnal predator which feeds on molluscs, worms, fish eggs and zooplankton especially copepods.

Longevity:

This small species grows quickly and has a short life span of probably 3 to 5 years.

Did you know?

100 000 It is the number of individuals that a shoal of false herrings can contain.

The adults head for the open sea to feed and reproduce, while the juveniles often stay in coastal waters such as estuaries, mangrove swamps, lagoons, island coral reefs and seagrass beds

This small species grows quickly and has a short life span of probably 3 to 5 years.



The false herring is a nocturnal predator which feeds on molluscs, worms, fish eggs and zooplankton especially copepods.

False herring
 

At NAUSICAA, false herrings remain more or less grouped together and move in unison within shoals.

Depending on the time of day, they may gather under rays of natural light that filter through the windows.

Where is the animal to be found?

It is a pelagic species which lives at depths of between 0 and 50 metros.

The adults head for the open sea to feed and reproduce, while the juveniles often stay in coastal waters such as estuaries, mangrove swamps, lagoons, island coral reefs and seagrass beds.

How can it be recognised?

Also known as the false pilchard, the false herring is a small fish which lives and moves in shoals. The false herring has teeth on its tongue and has an average size of 9 cm but can reach a maximum length of 18 cm.

What is distinctive about it?

The shoal formation is a defence mechanism which is used by small fish against their predators. Depending on the threat, the shoal can vary in density, size, shape and speed in order to confuse predators or enable certain individuals to retreat. These shoals move in sync.

The distribution of herrings within the shoal is deliberate and centralised: each one is in its proper place!

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False herring

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