Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Dorosomatinae
Etymology: Tenualosa: Latin, tenuis = thin + Latin, alausa = a fish cited by Ausonius and Latin, halec = pickle, dealing with the Greek word hals = salt; it is also the old Saxon name for shad = "alli" ; 1591 (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range ? - 200 m. Tropical, preferred 27°C (Ref. 107945); 34°N - 5°N, 42°E - 97°E (Ref. 188)
Indian Ocean: Persian Gulf eastward to Myanmar, including western and eastern coasts of India. Reported from the Gulf of Tonkin, Viet Nam (Ref. 9706). Reported in Tigris River basin and probably other rivers of southern Iran (Ref. 39702).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 41.5, range 34 - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); common length : 36.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4832); common length :42 cm TL (female); max. published weight: 680.00 g (Ref. 4832); max. published weight: 680.00 g
soft rays: 18 - 23. Belly with 30 to 33 scutes. Distinct median notch in upper jaw. Gill rakers fine and numerous, about 100 to 250 on lower part of arch. Fins hyaline. A dark blotch behind gill opening, followed by a series of small spots along flank in juveniles. Color in life, silver shot with gold and purple.
Schooling in coastal waters and ascending rivers for as much as 1200 km (usually 50-100 km). Migration though is sometimes restricted by barrages. Hilsa far up the Ganges and other large rivers seem to be permanent river populations. Feeds on plankton, mainly by filtering, but apparently also by grubbing on muddy bottoms. Breeds mainly in rivers during the southwest monsoon (also from January to February to March). Artificial propagation has been partially successful in India (Ref. 4832). Known to be a fast swimmer, covering 71 km in one day (Ref. 12203). Marketed fresh or dried-salted.
Breeds mainly in rivers, upstream to about 50 km or even over 1000 km as in the Ganges (younger fishes may breed in the tidal zone of rivers). In some rivers the migration is restricted by barrages; there is some evidence that hilsa far up the Ganges and other large rivers, although migrating upstream to spawn, are permanent river populations that do not descend to the sea. The main breeding season is during the southwest monsoon, with a shorter season from January to February or March.
Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: experimental
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00977 (0.00849 - 0.01124), b=3.01 (2.97 - 3.05), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.9 ±0.29 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.5-1.2; Fec=220,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (31 of 100) .