Atherinella blackburni

Common Name

Beach Silverside

Year Described

Schultz, 1949


Dorsal Fin: II-IV; I, 7-10
Anal Fin: I, 18-26
Pectoral Fin: 12-13
Lateral Line Scales: 43-54
Predorsal Scales: 22-32
Circumferential Scales: 25-27
Transverse Scale Rows:
Gill Rakers: 14-18

Quite deep-bodied for a silverside of this genus. Body elongate, flat dorsally, and compressed laterally, with two dorsal fins. Eye large. Mouth terminal, strongly oblique, and reaches well beyond anterior orbit. Premaxilla protractile. Distal end of premaxilla expanded. Premaxilla lacks postmaxillary process. Teeth in both jaws. Rostral sensory system present. Dorsal fins well separated. Spinous dorsal fin origin behind anal fin origin. Spiny dorsal fin very small. Anal fin long. Sheath present on almost entire anal fin. Pelvic fin origin well behind pectoral fin base. Axillary scale present (half pelvic length). Pectoral fin large and high on body. Caudal fin forked. Scales cycloid.


Body translucent with a greenish dorsum. A cross-hatched pattern of dark melanophores on the dorsum. Lateral band silvery with a dark upper border. Fins yellowish. Tail with a dark margin.


Maximum size to 90mm SL.


A brackish and marine species. Found in calm coastal waters, along beaches, and estuaries.


Continental from Belize to southern Brazil.


Chernoff, B. 2002. Atherinopsidae (pp 1090-1103). 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.