Atherinella brasiliensis

Common Name

Robust Silverside

Year Described

Quoy & Gaimard, 1825


Dorsal Fin: IV; 1, 7-8
Anal Fin: I, 18-20
Pectoral Fin: 14-15
Lateral Line Scales: 35-44
Predorsal Scales:
Circumferential Scales: 17-20
Transverse Scale Rows: 6
Gill Rakers: 13-16 (lower arch)

Body elongate, flat dorsally, and compressed laterally, with two dorsal fins. Eye large. Mouth terminal, strongly oblique, and does not reach the orbit. Premaxilla protractile. Distal end of premaxilla expanded. Premaxilla lacks postmaxillary process. Teeth in both jaws. Rostral sensory system present. Anterior portion of sensory system consists of a pair of L-shaped furrows. Dorsal fins well separated. Spinous dorsal fin origin behind anal fin origin (above anal ray 2-5). Anal fin long. Sheath absent or rudimentary. Pelvic fin origin well behind pectoral fin base. Axillary scale present (>half pelvic length). Pectoral fin long and high on body. Caudal fin forked. Scales cycloid.


Body translucent with a greenish to golden dorsum. A cross-hatched pattern of dark melanophores on the dorsum. Lateral band silvery with a dark upper border. Dorsal and caudal fins amber to red-orange, especially on margin. Rest of fins clear.


Maximum size to 110mm SL.


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


Gulf of Venezuela to southeastern 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.

Other Notes

There may be cryptic diversity in this species with the Venezuela population distinct from the southeastern Brazilian ones.