Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
Herring family - clupeidae, pp. 263-277 ff. PDF (7.3 MB)
Herring Family- Clupeidae Three species of herrings in two genera are known from Wisconsin. In the United States and Canada 27 species in 9 genera are known (Rob- ins et al. 1980). The herring family contains many important marine species (e.g., herrings, shads, menhadens, and sardines), several of which are anadromous and enter fresh water to spawn. These fishes occur throughout the seas of the world, except for Antarctic waters. Among these are a few which have abandoned the marine phase of their exis- tence. A few species live permanently in fresh water. Economically, the order Clupeiformes is an important group of fishes, and in terms of money value probably the most valuable in the world. The herrings possess a row of modified scales, called scutes, along the midventral edge of the belly; these scales form a distinct sawtooth mar- gin. All species have a transparent eye covering (adipose eyelid) with a vertical slit. All have the pelvic axillary process. The herrings are spring spawners and the anadromous species crowd into streams in spectacular runs. Presumably, the eggs are deposited at random, and no care is given to them or to the newly hatched young. 263
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