Platanichthys platana

Common Name

River Plate Sprat

Year Described

Regan, 1917


Dorsal Fin: 13-16
Anal Fin: 17-23
Pelvic Fin: 5-6 branched
Gill Rakers: 35-43 (first arch)

Body fusiforme, rather deep, and compressed. Posterior gill margin rounded with no fleshy lobes. Eye a little smaller than snout length. Upper jaw without median notch and reaching to middle of eye. Supramaxilla (first anterior) minute or absent. No backward pointing spine on maxilla. Posterior frontal fontanelles retained in adult fish (unique in area clupeids). Dorsal and ventral profiles convex. Dorsal fin origin centered at about midbody and has a concave margin. Pelvic fin under dorsal fin origin. Anal fin low and placed rearward. Pectoral fin tucked in low under gill cover. Tail forked. Body scaled. Ventral scutes with strong keels.


Body bright silvery and yellowish dorsally. A silvery stripe of consistent width (3/4 eye diameter), runs from gill to caudal fin. Fins unmarked yellowish.


Maximum size to 97mm SL but common to 50mm SL.


Mainly freshwater but enters brackish estuaries.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Rio de la Plata, Argentina.


Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO.