Morphology Data of Alosa fallax
Identification keys
Main Ref. Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs no special organs
Different appearance males alike females
Different colors males alike females

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral fusiform / normal
Cross section compressed
Dorsal head profile more or less straight
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth terminal
Type of scales cycloid scales

Diagnosis: Body somewhat compressed, moderately deep with depth at pectoral fin less than head length, scutes apparent along belly (Ref. 188). Upper jaw notched, lower jaw fitting into it; no teeth on vomer; gillrakers fairly short and stout, total 30 to 80, shorter than gill filaments (Ref. 188). A dark spot posterior to gill opening, followed by 7 or 8 similar spots along flank, but sometimes faint or absent (Ref. 188, 40476). Alosa fallax resembles Alosa alosa, which has more and longer gillrakers and at most only 3 dark spots on flank (Ref. 188).

Description: Body fusiform, a little compressed, the head wedge-shaped in cross-section; belly with a keel of scutes (Ref. 2945). Gill cover with radiating bony striae; gillrakers fairly short and stout, total 30 to 80, shorter than gill filaments; lower gill rakers 20 to 40 (Ref. 188, 2945). Upper jaw with a distinct notch to receive tip of lower jaw (Ref. 2945). Dorsal fin origin a little before midpoint of body; anal fin origin well behind dorsal fin base (Ref. 2945). Large, thin scales (Ref. 51442).

Colouration: Deep blue dorsally, becoming greenish brown or golden on the sides and silvery ventrally; usually a series of 4-8 black blotches behind gill opening, sometimes a single blotch (Ref. 188, 59043, 88187).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Alosa fallax

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 54 - 71
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb
total 30 - 80
total 49 - 59


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 4 - 6
Soft-rays total 12 - 16
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes forked; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 3 - 4
Soft-rays total 16 - 22

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     1
Soft-rays   13 - 16
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  beneath origin of D1
Spines     1
Soft-rays   8 - 9
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Binohlan, Crispina B.
Modified by Boden, Gert
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cfm script by eagbayani, 17.10.00, php script by rolavides, 13/03/08 ,  last modified by sortiz, 06.27.17