Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Adults feed on copepods, mysids, shrimps, small squids and marine worms (Ref. 7251); also eggs of their own species (Ref. 5951). Preyed upon by striped bass (Ref. 7251) and bluefish (chief predators) (Ref. 5951). Oviparous, eggs are deposited on the substrate during a spawning run along the shore (Ref. 38155). Silversides are sometimes used as live food for trout (Ref. 7251).
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Western North Atlantic coast from Gulf of St. Lawrence to northeastern Florida.

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southern Gulf of St. Lawrence region to Florida
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Western Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada to northeastern Florida in USA.
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Western North Atlantic.
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Western Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada to northeastern Florida in USA.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Analsoft rays: 23 - 26
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Size

Maximum size: 150 mm TL
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Max. size

15.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251)); max. reported age: 2 years (Ref. 12193)
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to 15.0 cm TL (male/unsexed).
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986.
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Type Information

Syntype for Menidia dentex
Catalog Number: USNM 18051
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Illustration
Collector(s): S. Baird
Year Collected: 1877
Locality: Mouth St. Johns River Florida., Florida, United States, North America
  • Syntype:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Marine

Comments: Sandy shoreline waters and mouths of inlets (Robins and Ray 1986).

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nektonic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Pelagic species, found on sandy seashores and in mouths of inlets.
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Environment

pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 3 m (Ref. 85409)
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Depth range based on 1177 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 441 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 220
  Temperature range (°C): 2.442 - 23.660
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.289 - 17.036
  Salinity (PPS): 30.660 - 35.657
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.748 - 7.597
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.110 - 1.316
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.868 - 17.288

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 220

Temperature range (°C): 2.442 - 23.660

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.289 - 17.036

Salinity (PPS): 30.660 - 35.657

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.748 - 7.597

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.110 - 1.316

Silicate (umol/l): 0.868 - 17.288
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Pelagic; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range on the surface. Inhabits sandy seashores and mouths of inlets.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Oceanodromous. Migrating within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas, as tunas do. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Comments: See Warkentine and Rachlin (1989).

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Inhabits western Atlantic coast close to shore and in brackish-water marshes, intertidal creeks and estuaries; in coastal habitat, it stays in sandy or gravelly shores following tidal movements up and down the shores, sometimes living among the sedge grass Spartina in the high-tide periods. Parasites of the species include branchiuran Argulus funduli and copepod Ergasilus funduli (Ref. 5951).
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Copepods, mysids, shrimps, small squids and marine worms.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Diet

Feeds on copepods, mysids, shrimps, small squids and marine worms
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Reproduction

On the southern New England coast spawning occurs in May, June, and early July. Spawning may begin later in the Gulf of Maine.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Menidia menidia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 25
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Menidia menidia

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 4 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACACGTTGATTCTTCTCAACCAATCACAAAGACATTGGCACCCTCTACCTGGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCAGGAATGGTCGGAACAGCCCTA---AGTCTCCTTATCCGGGCCGAACTGAGCCAACCGGGCTCTCTTCTGGGAGAC---GACCAAATTTATAATGTAATCGTCACCGCACATGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATTGGGGGCTTTGGAAACTGACTAATTCCCCTAATG---ATCGGGGCCCCCGATATGGCTTTCCCCCGAATGAACAATATGAGCTTCTGACTCCTCCCCCCATCGTTCCTCCTTCTCCTTGCCTCTTCAGGCGTTGAAGCCGGGGCAGGAACTGGGTGAACTGTTTATCCCCCCCTGTCTGGGAACCTCGCCCACGCTGGAGCGTCCGTGGATCTA---ACCATCTTCTCTCTTCATCTAGCAGGTGTCTCATCCATCCTGGGGGCTATCAATTTTATTACTACCATTGTTAACATGAAACCTCCAGCAATCTCACAGTACCAGACCCCGTTATTCGTCTGAGCTGTGCTGATCACTGCTGTGCTTCTCCTCCTCTCCCTCCCTGTCCTTGCTGCT---GGCATCACCATGCTACTCACAGACCGAAACCTAAACACCACATTCTTTGACCCTGCAGGAGGGGGAGACCCAATCCTCTACCAACACCTCTTCTGATTCTTCGGGCACCCGGAGGTTTATATCCTGATCCTCCCTGGATTCGGAATAATTTCTCACATTGTGGCCTACTACTCAGGTAAAAAA---GAACCCTTCGGCTATATGGGTATGGTGTGAGCTATGATGGCTATTGGCCTTCTGGGGTTTATTGTCTGAGCCCACCACATGTTTACAGTCGGAATGGATGTGGACACCCGAGCATACTTTACATCCGCTACAATGATTATTGCCATCCCCACGGGAGTTAAAGTCTTTAGCTGGCTA---GCTACACTCCACGGCGGA---GCTATTAAATGAGAAACCCCTCTACTCTGAGCCCTCGGTTTTATCTTCCTATTTACAGTCGGGGGCCTAACGGGAATTGTCCTGGCCAATTCATCCCTTGACATCGTTCTCCATGACACATATTATGTAGTAGCACACTTCCATTACGTC---TTATCTATAGGAGCTGTGTTCGCCATCGTCGCCGCCTTCGTCCACTGATTCCCCCTATTCTCAGGCTATACCCTTCACAGCACTTGAACAAAAATCCACTTCGGGATTATGTTCCTGGGAGTAAATTTAACTTTCTTCCCACAGCACTTCCTGGGTCTTGCGGGGATGCCTCGA---CGCTACTCTGACTACCCAGACGCCTACACG---CTGTGAAACACGGTCTCCTCTATTGGGTCACTAGTTTCACTCGTAGCCGTGATTATGTTCCTGTTTATTATCTGGGAAGCCTTCGCCGCAAAACGTGAGGTC---CTCTCGGTTGAACTGACCGCAACTAAT
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; price category: low; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species
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Wikipedia

Atlantic silverside

The Atlantic silverside, Menidia menidia, is a small species of fish from the West Atlantic, ranging from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada to northeastern Florida in USA. It is one of the most common fish in the Chesapeake Bay and in the Barnegat Bay. They are a common subject of scientific research because of their sensitivity to environmental changes.

The fish is about 15 cm (5.9 in) long, mostly silver and white. It eats smaller (biotic) animals and plants – small crustaceans, algae, annelid worms, shrimp, zooplankton, copepods, amphipods, squid, and insects.

The Atlantic silverside’s predators are larger predatory fish – striped bass, blue fish, Atlantic mackerel – and many shore birds, including egrets, terns, cormorants, and gulls.

The abiotic factors the Atlantic silverside needs to survive varies for populations of fish based on their geographical location. A general rule-of-thumb for the species includes an average temperature of 70 °F (21 °C), a salt content of the water ranging from 0 to 37ppt (Tagatz and Dudley 1961), and a well-mixed body of water to prevent hypoxic conditions.

The Atlantic silverside’s habitat is generally near the water’s edge. They are mostly found swimming in brackish waters, such as in the mouths of rivers and streams that connect to the ocean. These small schooling fish have been seen to gather in seagrass beds, which can harbor the nearly defenseless fish some form of shelter from predation as well as provide safe haven for spawning. During winter, most Atlantic silversides swim in deeper water to avoid cold/low temperature. During the summer, most are found in the shallows along the shoreline.

The Atlantic silverside’s defense is to hide in seagrass beds. They are also quick swimmers and their coloration of silver and a little white makes it confusing to predators to determine the direction the fish are heading. The silverside's strongest form of defense is the strength-in-numbers strategy, where fish will school in large numbers to diminish their chances of being the one picked off by a predator.

References[edit]

  • Tagatz, M. E., and D . L . Dudley. 1961 . Seasonal occurrence of marine fishes i n f o u r shore habitats near Beaufort, North Carolina, 1957-1960. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 390. 19 PP.
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