Atherina harringtonensis

Common Name

Reef Silverside

Year Described

Goode, 1877


Dorsal Fin: V-VI; I,8-10
Anal Fin: 1, 11
Scales: 42-45
Gill Rakers: 24+

Body elongated and tapering posteriorly. Head with terminal mouth barely reaching anterior margin of orbit. Mouth not protractile. Coronoid process pronounced. Premaxilla thin with distal end not expanded. Post-maxillary process present. Teeth small. Eye large (about snout length). There are two dorsal fins; one spiny and one with mostly soft rays. Pelvic fin origin well behind pectoral fin base. Anal fin origin in front of second dorsal origin. Pectoral fin high on mid-body. Caudal fin forked. Body scales cycloid. Area between throat and pelvic fins scaled. No scales on bases of dorsal and anal fins.


Body translucent with a greenish to brassy tint. Side with a silvery stripe that is relatively thick (>3 scale rows). Scales on dorsum with dark edges. There are often green or blue sheens adjacent to stripe, head and gut depending on lighting.


Maximum size to 100mm TL but mostly <60mm.


Shallow coastal waters in bays, lagoons, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. Forms large schools in calm, open waters.


Southern Florida to Argentina, including the Caribbean islands, the Yucatan, and northern South America. Also Bermuda.


Chernoff, B. 2002. Atherinidae (pp 1086-1089). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 2: Bony fishes part 1 (Acipenseridae-Grammatidae). FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5.

Other Notes

Used to be classified in the genus Hypoatherina.