Osmerus mordax

Common Name

Rainbow Smelt

Year Described

Mitchill, 1814

Identification

Dorsal Fin: 10-11
Anal Fin: 15-17
Pectoral Fin: 11-12
Pelvic Fin: 8
Gill Rakers: 25-35
Lateral Line Scales: 65-72 (13-30 pored scales)
Vertebrae: 60-68

Pelvic fin not expanded. Adipose fin present.

Color

Gray to olive dorsally, grading to white on the belly. A bright silvery stripe on the side. Caudal fin with dusky edge. Rest of fins transparent.

Size

Maximum size to 35cm SL.

Habitat

Inshore marine, and frequently in freshwater and in brackish estuaries. Forms large schools.

Range Map

 Range Map

Range

Northern Atlantic: Labrador to Delaware

References

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, (02/2014)

Whitehead, P.J.P. , M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J.G. Nielsen and E. Tortonese. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I-III. UNESCO. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. http://species-identification.org.