Common name: Wolf herrings


Medium to large-sized silvery fishes reaching more than 100 cm SL, with distinctive fang-like teeth in the jaws. 

Wolf herrings have elongate, strongly compressed bodies with no scutes along the belly, no pelvic scutes; head strongly compressed, mouth large with two fang-like teeth in the upper jaw, a series of canine teeth in lower jaw (larger at front). Eyes small, eyelids completely covering eyes. Fin spines absent, dorsal-fin short-based with 16–19 rays, originating just above anal-fin origin; anal fin with 30–35 rays; caudal fin deeply forked; pelvic fins small, abdominal, with 6–7 rays. Scales small cycloid deciduous; lateral line absent. No pyloric caeca; spiral valve present in intestine. Total vertebrae 69–75. Dark bluish-green above, bright silver on sides and below.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Wolf herrings, CHIROCENTRIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024,

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Family Taxonomy

A single genus Chirocentrus with two species.


Dianne J. Bray