Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
Silverside family - atherinidae, pp. 767-773 ff. PDF (2.7 MB)
Silverside Family Atherinidae Only one species of silversides is known from Wisconsin. It is a strictly freshwater form with an extensive range over the eastern United States. Hubbs (1921) suggested that its "habitat reactions" were inherited from its marine ancestors and hence were developed in the sea. Twelve species of silversides in eight genera are listed from the United States and Canada (Robins et al. 1980). Of these, 10 occupy typical salt- water coastal or estuarine habitats. Most silversides are small fishes. They include the well-known California grunion, a spectacular fish which during high tide is thrown up onto the beach sands to spawn. Rosen (1964) demonstrated that the silversides, halfbeaks, and killifishes were closely aligned families, probably with a common Eocene ancestry in the fresh and brackish waters of Australia, from which they spread around the world. The members of this family have scaled heads, two dorsal fins (the first small and spiny), pectoral fins high on the body, and both pelvic and anal fins each with a small spine. The swim bladder is present, but loses its pneumatic duct connection with the pharynx (physoclist). 767
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