Allis shad (Alosa alosa)
|Researched by||Al Reeve||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandA coastal species recorded from many areas around the British Isles. Known spawning populations exist in the River Tamar with other possible spawning sites in the English and Bristol Channels and the Solway Firth.
Global distributionAtlantic Coasts, from Northern Africa to Scandinavia and western parts of the Mediterranean
HabitatCoastal waters returning to freshwater to spawn above gravel substrates. Alosa alosa has been reported in depths ranging from 10 -150 m.
- Dorsal profile of the allis shad is curved and the tail fins are forked.
- Body flattened side to side with strong spines along the belly.
- Deep bodied with silvery scales.
- Back deep blue in colour with silvery white sides.
- Dark spot behind the gill cover (sometimes absent).
- Grows up to 70 cm length.
Additional informationThe allis shad is distinguished from the other European shad, the twaite shad (Alosa fallax), by having between 80-130 gill rakers on the first gill arch while Alosa fallax has between 40-60. The allis shad is 'anadromous' in that it spends its life in the ocean but enters rivers in April and May to spawn before returning to the sea. Juveniles remain in the rivers for up to 24 months.
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Last Updated: 30/06/2005