Goldspot Herring, Herklotsichthys quadrimaculatus (Rüppell 1837)

Other Names: Bluestripe Herring, Fourspot Herring, Gold-spot Herring, Murray Island Sardine, Oily Herring, Small-spotted Herring

Goldspot Herring, Herklotsichthys quadrimaculatus, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Mark Shepherd / Lizard Island Field Guide. License: CC by Attribution

A silvery herring with a bluish-green back becoming silvery on the sides and below, with two orange-yellow spots, one above the other just behind the gill cover.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Herklotsichthys quadrimaculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Goldspot Herring, Herklotsichthys quadrimaculatus (Rüppell 1837)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, around the tropical north to the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific, and was accidentally introduced to Hawaii.
Adults form schools near mangroves, shallow protected coastal bays and lagoons during the day, before moving further offshore into deeper waters at night.


Dorsal fin 17-20; Anal fin 17-19; Pectoral fin 15-16; Longitudinal scale series 38-45; ventral scutes 30-32; gill rakers on lower limb of first arch 30-37.

Transversely elongate wing-like scales below the normal paired pre-dorsal scales; body depth 3.1-3.9 in SL.


Feed mostly at night on zooplankton. Juveniles consume mostly copepods, while adults adults feed on larger prey such as chaetognaths, polychaete worms, shrimps and small fishes. Breeding occurs on the first year and individuals may only survive for a few months once mature.


Fished throughout much of its range.


Herklotsichthys is named after the Australian ichthyologist, Janus Adrian Herklots, 1820-1872.

Species Citation

Clupea quadrimaculatus Rüppell 1837, Fische des Rothen Meeres 3: 78, pl. 21(3). Type locality: Bay of Massawa, Red Sea. 


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Goldspot Herring, Herklotsichthys quadrimaculatus (Rüppell 1837)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Munroe, T.A., Wongratana, T. & Nizinski, M.S. 1999. Family Clupeidae. pp. 1775-1821 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Ogilby, J.D. 1898. New species of Australian fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 22(4): 759-761. (p. 759, described as Harengula stereolepis)

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs..

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1837. Neue Wirbelthiere zu der Fauna von Abyssinien gehörig. Fische des Rothen Meeres. Frankfurt Vol. 3, pp. 53–80, pls 15–21.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985. FAO species catalog. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). Part 1 — Chirocentridae, Clupeidae and Pristigasteridae. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 Vol. 7 Pt 1. pp. 1-303

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37085025

Depth:1-13 m

Habitat:Pelagic, reef associated

Max Size:14 cm TL

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