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Overview

Brief Summary

Sprat is a small species belonging to the herring family. Large schools of ten-centimeter long sprat swim in the upper water column in search of plankton. Sprat can grow to 18 centimeters and 6 years old. It is mostly caught by the industrial fisheries for producing fish-meal. Other fish and birds eat lots of sprat. Sprat is sometimes smoked for human consumption, sold in the Netherlands as 'kielersprot'. This fish is one of the few fish species in the North Sea that has a healthy population. Since 1990, a strong to very strong year class has been born just about every year.
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Comprehensive Description

Sprattus sprattus phalericus Risso, 1826

Sea of Marmara : 4200-59 (1 spc.), 21.05.1971 , Beykozfish trap ; 4200-69 (6 spa), 21.05.1971 , Beykozfish trap .

  • Nurettin Meriç, Lütfiye Eryilmaz, Müfit Özulug (2007): A catalogue of the fishes held in the Istanbul University, Science Faculty, Hydrobiology Museum. Zootaxa 1472, 29-54: 34-34, URL:http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:428F3980-C1B8-45FF-812E-0F4847AF6786
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Biology

Usually inshore schooling, sometimes entering estuaries (especially the juveniles) and tolerating salinities as low as 4 ppt. Shows strong migrations between winter feeding and summer spawning grounds. Moves to the surface at night. Feeds on planktonic crustaceans (Ref. 9900). Spawns at depths of 10-20 m producing 6,000-14,000 pelagic eggs (Ref. 35388). Some spawn almost throughout the year, mainly in spring and summer, near the coast or up to 100 km out to sea, the young drifting inshore. Sold as 'brislings' to canneries. Sprat are used in the production of fish meal and as mink food, less for human consumption (Ref. 9900). Utilized fresh, smoked, canned and frozen; can be pan-fried and broiled (Ref. 9988).
  • Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=188&speccode=24 External link.
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Description

 Sprattus sprattus grows up to 16 cm in length. It is shiny silver to grey in colour. It has a very forked tail and small and angular anal and dorsal fins. The dorsal fin is directly above the pelvic fin. The head is small and the lower jaw is upturned and projects slightly.Sprat may be confused with juvenile herring. The relative positions of dorsal and pelvic fins, the grey rather than blue coloration on the dorsal side and the sharply toothed ventral keel are, however, clear distinguishing features.
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Distribution

Baltic Sea.
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Northeast Atlantic: North Sea and adjacent waters as far north as the Lofoten Area and the west of the British Isles, and Baltic Sea south to Morocco; also in northern Mediterranean (Gulf of Lion and the Adriatic Sea) and Black Sea.
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Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, eastern Atlantic: North Sea to Morocco.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13 - 21; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 12 - 23
  • Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=188&speccode=24 External link.
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Size

Maximum size: 160 mm TL
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Maximum size: 160 mm SL
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Max. size

16.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 188)); max. reported age: 6 years (Ref. 3561)
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Diagnostic Description

Lower jaw slightly projecting, gill cover without any bony radiating striae, teeth rarely present on vomer; belly with a strong keel of scutes; last two anal fin rays not enlarged. No dark spots on flanks. Pterotic bulla absent.
  • Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=188&speccode=24 External link.
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); brackish; marine; depth range 10 - 150 m (Ref. 6302)
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Depth range based on 204979 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 102045 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -9 - 262
  Temperature range (°C): 2.641 - 12.243
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.139 - 16.868
  Salinity (PPS): 5.681 - 35.544
  Oxygen (ml/l): 0.573 - 8.768
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.114 - 3.328
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 72.643

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -9 - 262

Temperature range (°C): 2.641 - 12.243

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.139 - 16.868

Salinity (PPS): 5.681 - 35.544

Oxygen (ml/l): 0.573 - 8.768

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.114 - 3.328

Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 72.643
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Sprat is a pelagic schooling fish usually found in inshore waters, sometimes entering estuaries to salinity values as low as 4. It can also be found down to a depth of up to 150 m.
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Depth: 10 - 150m.
From 10 to 150 meters.

Habitat: pelagic.
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Migration

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

Sometimes entering estuaries (especially the juveniles) and tolerating salinities as low as 4 o/oo; strong migrations between winter feeding and summer spawning grounds. Move to the surface at night.
  • Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=188&speccode=24 External link.
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Associations

Known predators

Sprattus sprattus (Sprattus sprattus spratt) is prey of:
Larus canus
Larus ridibundus
Larus argentatus
Larus marinus
Sterna sandvicensis
Sterna hirundo
Sterna paradisaea
Platichthys flesus
Hemiuris communis
Lecithaster gibbosus

Based on studies in:
Scotland (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Hall SJ, Raffaelli D (1991) Food-web patterns: lessons from a species-rich web. J Anim Ecol 60:823–842
  • Huxham M, Beany S, Raffaelli D (1996) Do parasites reduce the chances of triangulation in a real food web? Oikos 76:284–300
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Known prey organisms

Sprattus sprattus (Sprattus sprattus spratt) preys on:
Copepoda

Based on studies in:
Scotland (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Hall SJ, Raffaelli D (1991) Food-web patterns: lessons from a species-rich web. J Anim Ecol 60:823–842
  • Huxham M, Beany S, Raffaelli D (1996) Do parasites reduce the chances of triangulation in a real food web? Oikos 76:284–300
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Some spawn almost year round but mainly in spring and summer, near to the coast or up to 100 km out to sea, the young drifting inshore. Individual period of spawning takes about two months (Ref. 92054).
  • Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeioidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=188&speccode=24 External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sprattus sprattus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 24
Specimens with Barcodes: 34
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Sprattus sprattus

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


There are 3 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.

ACACGTTGATTTTTCTCAACTAATCACAAAGATATTGGTACCCTTTACCTAGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCAGGAATGGTGGGCACAGCCCTA---AGTCTCCTAATTCGTGCAGAACTCAGCCAGCCTGGGGCCCTCCTTGGAGAT---GACCAGATCTATAATGTTATCGTTACTGCACATGCCTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCGATTCTAATTGGGGGGTTTGGAAACTGACTAGTTCCCCTCATG---GTCGGAGCACCAGATATGGCATTCCCTCGAATAAACAATATGAGCTTCTGACTACTCCCTCCCTCATTCCTCCTACTCTTAGCCTCCTCTGGGGTTGAAGCCGGAGCAGGGACTGGATGAACAGTATATCCCCCTCTGTCCGGTAACCTGGCCCACGCGGGGGCATCGGTTGATCTA---ACTATTTTTTCACTCCATCTAGCAGGTATTTCCTCTATTCTGGGTGCCATTAATTTCATTACTACAATTATTAATATGAAGCCGCCCTCAATTTCACAATACCAAACACCCCTGTTTGTCTGATCCGTACTTGTAACAGCTGTTCTACTTCTACTATCACTACCTGTACTAGCTGCC---GGGATTACAATGCTTCTTACAGATCGAAATCTAAACACCACCTTCTTCGACCCAGCAGGAGGGGGAGACCCAATTCTCTACCAACACCTATTTTGATTCTTCGGACACCCGGAAGTGTATATTCTCATTCTCCCCGGATTTGGAATGATTTCCCACATCGTAGCCTACTACGCAGGAAAGAAA---GAGCCCTTCGGATACATGGGAATGGTCTGAGCTATGATGGCTATCGGACTTCTAGGGTTCATTGTCTGAGCCCACCATATGTTCACCGTAGGTATGGATGTTGACACTCGAGCATACTTTACATCAGCAACTATGATTATTGCCATCCCAACTGGGGTTAAGGTATTTAGTTGACTT---GCCACTCTTCACGGGGGC---TCAATCAAATGAGAAACCCCACTTTTATGAGCCCTTGGGTTCATTTTCCTTTTCACAGTCGGGGGATTAACAGGAATTGTCTTGGCCAACTCCTCATTAGATATTGTTCTACACGACACATATTACGTTGTAGCACACTTCCACTATGTT---CTTTCTATGGGGGCCGTATTCGCTATTATAGCTGCATTCGTACACTGATTCCCCCTATTTACAGGATATACCCTTCATAGCACCTGAACAAAAATCCACTTCGGAATTATGTTCGTAGGTGTCAATTTAACTTTCTTCCCCCAACACTTCCTAGGCCTAGCAGGGATGCCACGG---CGATACTCTGACTACCCCGACGCCTATACT---CTTTGAAATACAGTGTCCTCAATCGGGTCACTTATTTCACTAGTAGCAGTAATTATGTTCTTATTTATTCTTTGGGAAGCATTCGCTGCCAAACGAGAAGTA---GCGTCTGTAGAACTTACTATGACAAAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: highly commercial; bait: usually; price category: low; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species
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Wikipedia

European sprat

The European sprat, Sprattus sprattus, also known as bristling, brisling or skipper, is a small, herring-like, marine fish. Found in European waters, it has silver grey scales and white-grey flesh. Specific seas in which the species occurs include the Irish Sea, Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Sea of the Hebrides.[1] The fish is around 12% fat in its flesh and is a source of many vitamins. When used for food it can be canned, salted, fried, grilled, baked, marinated, and so on.

Young sprats are commonly known as brisling. Canned sprats (usually smoked) are available in many north European countries, including the Baltic states, Scandinavia, Ireland, Germany, Poland and Russia. They are an important Latvian export. The majority of brisling sardines that are sold to the public are harvested off the coasts of Norway and Scotland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ C.Michael Hogan, (2011) Sea of the Hebrides. Eds. P. Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC.
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