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Sardinella brasiliensis, (Brazilian sardinella or orangespot sardine) is a species of ray-finned fish in the genus Sardinella. S. brasilensis are extremely hard to distinguish from Sardinella aurita and are combined in most studies and catch estimates. They spawn in coastal areas during late spring and summer. The most dense spawning periods are in December and January. From 1973–1990 the catch in Venezuela was down from 228000 tons to 31000 tons.[1] These fish are present in the Western Atlantic (including the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, West Indies all the way down to Brazil[2]

Brazilian sardinella
Scientific classification
S. brasiliensis
Binomial name
Sardinella brasiliensis
(Steindachner, 1879)

Sardinella janeiro (C. H. Eigenmann, 1894)

Distinguishing featuresEdit

The standard length of these sardinella is around 20 cm. S. brasiliensis is similar to their close relative S. aurita but S. brasiliensis have two peak spawning seasons. It is important to differentiate this species from S. aurita. Some of the features that make them unique include the anterior gillrakers (see List of ichthyology terms) which are curled down on the lower limbs of the second and third gill arches. They both have 8 rays on the pelvic fin and have 2 fleshy appendages along the outer margin of the gill opening with many scale stripes (striae) on the top of the head.[2]

Monitoring corruption in retailEdit

It is common for retailers to substitute Sardinella brasilensis and closely related species for anchovies in commercial markets. In order to combat this false advertising scientists are developing an efficient method of testing mitochondrial DNA of these fish using the Polymerase Chain Reaction. The inaccurate representation of packaged fish is a potential safety hazard to consumers.[3]


  1. ^ Matsuura, Yasonubu (1998). "Brazilian sardine (Sardinella brasiliensis) spawning in the southeast Brazilian Bight over the period 1976–1993" (PDF). Rev. Bras. Oceanogr. 46 (1): 33–43. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b Whitehead, Peter J.P. (1988). Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). Rome: United Nations Development Programme. pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-92-5-102667-0.
  3. ^ Sebastio, P; P Zanelli; TM Neri (March 2001). "Identification of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicholus L.) and gilt sardine (Sardinella aurita) by polymerase chain reaction, sequence of their mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, and restriction analysis of polymerase chain reaction products in semipreserves". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 49 (3): 1194–9. doi:10.1021/jf000875x. PMID 11312834.