Atherinella venezuelae

Common Name

Venezuelan Silverside

Year Described

Eigenmann, 1920


Dorsal Fin: IV-V; I, 8-10
Anal Fin: I, 20-22
Pectoral Fin: 12-14
Lateral Line Scales: 40-45
Predorsal Scales:
Circumferential Scales: 17-20
Transverse Scale Rows: 6
Gill Rakers: 17 (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 near anal fin origin. Anal fin long. Sheath absent or rudimentary. Pelvic fin origin well behind pectoral fin base. Axillary scale present (half pelvic length). Pectoral fin relatively long and high on body. Caudal fin forked. Scales cycloid.


Translucent pale brownish to yellowish above and colorless below. Silvery midbody stripe less than eye diameter. Fins dusky.


Maximum known size to 61mm SL.


Freshwater lakes, rivers, and brackish estuaries.


Venezuela (Tapa River basin) and Trinidad and Tobago.


Eigenmann, C.H. 1920. The Fishes of Lake Valencia, Caracas, and of the Rio Tuy at El Tuy at El Concejo, Venezuela (No. 170). Indiana University.

Other Notes

Closely related to Atherinella brasiliensis and A. robbersi. The status of this species needs to be examined regarding it’s relationship and separation from the A. brasiliensis complex.