Southern Herring, Herklotsichthys castelnaui (Ogilby 1897)

Other Names: Castelnau's Herring, Estuary Herring, Pilcher, Sprat, Striped Herring

Southern Herring, Herklotsichthys castelnaui, in Red Rock Estuary, New South Wales, July 2011. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A bluish-green herring becomg silvery below, with three golden-brown streaks or stripes along the back, a brownish patch or spot behind the upper part of the gill opening in adults, and blackish tips on the dorsal fin and upper lobe of the caudal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J., 2016, Herklotsichthys castelnaui in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Southern Herring, Herklotsichthys castelnaui (Ogilby 1897)

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Northern Queensland to Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. Forms dense schools in estuarine and coastal waters, migrating annually up and down eastern Australia. Adults migrate from coastal waters into the upper reaches of estuaries to spawn during summer and autumn.


Dorsal fin 16-19; Anal fin 17-21; Pectoral fin 15-16; Caudal fin 19; Pelvic fin 8; Scale rows (oblique) 37-40.
Body deep, very compressed esp. ventrally, depth 29-41% SL; front and rear of the eye with narrow strips of transparent adipose tissue; mouth reaching almost to below centre of eye; teeth absent.
Scales compressed, body with a serrated keel along underside only; anal fin of moderate length, last few rays not elongate; pectoral and pelvic fins with fleshy axillary tissue; pelvic fin below middle of dorsal fin.


A popular baitfish in Queensland and New South Wales.


Bray, D.J., 2016

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37085023


Habitat:Coastal marine, estuaries

Max Size:20 cm SL

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