Glassy Sprat, Hyperlophus translucidus McCulloch 1917

Other Names: Transparent Sandy Sprat

Illustration of the holotype of the Glassy Sprat, Hyperlophus translucidus, from Sans Souci, Sydney. Source: Allan McCulloch, Fig. 29(3), in McCulloch (1917) Records of the Australian Museum 11(7): 163-188 / Biodiversity Heritage Library. License: CC BY Attribution

A translucent sprat with a broad silvery  band extending from behind the head to the tail, tiny black dots scattered on the back, dorsal and caudal fins, also on the lips and chin, and a dark spot at the base of each anal-fin ray. The anal fin originates below or slightly behind the last dorsal-fin ray.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Hyperlophus translucidus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Glassy Sprat, Hyperlophus translucidus McCulloch 1917

More Info


Mary River heads, Queensland, to Jervis Bay, New South Wales. The species is pelagic over the shallow sandy and seagrass areas in coastal bays and estuaries.


Dorsal fin 15-16; Anal fin 19-22; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 10-13; Pelic fin 7; Vertebrae: 40-42; Branchiostegal rays 4. 
Body fairly elongate, belly keeled, with 17 + 9 scutes; about 19 dorsal scutes with low keels from head to dorsal fin origin. Second supra-maxilla paddle-shaped, lower portion larger. Anal fin origin below or slightly behind base of last dorsal fin ray. Scales deciduous.

Similar Species

Differs from the Sandy Sprat, Hyperlophus vittatus, in having the anal fin commencing below the rear of the dorsal fin (vs. origin well behind the dorsal fin in H. vittatus).


The specific name is from the Latin translucidus (= transparent, diaphanous), in reference to the translucent body of this species (when alive).

Species Citation

Hyperlophus translucidus McCulloch  1917, Records of the Australian Museum 11(7): 165, pl. 29(3). Type locality: Sans Souci, Botany Bay, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Glassy Sprat, Hyperlophus translucidus McCulloch 1917


Gaughan, D., Munroe, T.A. & Mohd Arshaad, W. 2017. Hyperlophus translucidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T98472908A98846842. Downloaded on 10 March 2021.

Jelbart, J.E., Ross, P.M. & Connolly, R.M. 2007. Patterns of small fish distributions in seagrass beds in a temperate Australian estuary. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 87: 1297-1307.

McCulloch, A.R. 1917. Studies in Australian fishes, No. 4. Records of the Australian Museum 11(7): 163-188 figs 1-2 pls 29-31 See ref at BHL

Miskiewicz, A.G. 1987. Taxonomy and ecology of fish larvae in Lake Macquarie and New South Wales coastal waters. Ph.D thesis, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Miskiewicz, A.G. & Neira, F.J. 1998. Clupeidae: herrings, sardines, shads, sprats. pp. 38-53, in Neira, F.J., Miskiewicz, A.G. & Trnski, T. Larvae of temperate Australian fishes: laboratory guide for larval fish identification. Nedlands, Western Australia : University of Western Australia press 474 pp.

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172 

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:37085026

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-20 m

Habitat:Pelagic inshore, estuaries

Max Size:6 cm SL


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