Alosa mediocris

Common Name

Hickory Shad

Year Described

Mitchill, 1814


Dorsal Fin: 15-20
Anal Fin: 19-23
Pectoral Fin: 15-16
Pelvic Fin: 9
Vertebrae: 53-55
Scales: 48-57 (transverse rows)
Ventral Scutes: 33-38
Gill Rakers: 18-23 (lower limb of first arch)


Gray to greenish above, grading to silvery on the sides and white on the belly. A series of faint dark spots on the side posterior to the upper opercular edge. Dark stripes run long scale rows on the dorsal half of body (most obvious in larger fish). Tip of lower jaw dark. The dorsal, caudal, and pectoral fins are dusky. The lower fins are pale.


Maine to Florida, but most abundant in the Middle Atlantic states.


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.

Other Notes

The Atlantic coast sister species to Alosa chrysochloris. Differs in averaging lower gill raker counts, higher anal fin ray counts, and several other morphological characters.