Alosa aestivalis

Common Name

Blueback Shad

Year Described

Mitchill, 1814


Dorsal Fin: 15-20
Anal Fin: 15-21
Pectoral Fin: 14-18
Pelvic Fin: 9-11
Vertebrae: 47-53
Scales: 46-54 (transverse rows)
Ventral Scutes: 31-36
Gill Rakers: 41-51 (lower limb of first arch)

Lower jaw not strongly projecting beyond upper and rises steeply within mouth (forming an obtuse angle with upper jaw margin).


Body bluish above, grading to silvery on the sides and whitish on the belly. A small dark spot usually present posterior to the upper opercular edge. Dark stripes follow scale rows on the dorsum. Dorsal and caudal fins are yellowish. Peritoneum is dark.


Nova Scotia to northeastern Florida.


Hildebrand, S.F. 1964. Engraulidae and Clupeidae (pp. 152-454). In: Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Mem. Sears Fnd. Mar. Res. 1 (Vol. 3): 1-630.