Alosa sapidissima

Alosa sapidissima
American Shad – Alosa sapidissima
FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
ClupeidaeAlosa sapidissima(Wilson)1811American Shad

Alosa sapidissima

Unique Characters:  Upper margin of lower jaw rises gradually.  Mouth less oblique and lower jaw does not project beyond upper jaw. Usually 59-76 crowded gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch. Cheek deeper than it is wide.

Similar Species:

Hickory Shad
Alosa mediocris

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Hickory Shad – Alosa mediocris

Hickory Shad Alosa mediocris. Mouth superior with tip of lower jaw projecting slightly forward of upper jaw.  Usually 18-23 widely spaced gill rakers on first gill arch. Blue-black spot behind upper opercle followed series of dusky spots.  Cheek longer than or equal to its depth.

Blueback Herring
Alosa aestivalis
Alosa pseudoharengus

American Shad vs Blueback Herring Jaw
American Shad vs Blueback Herring Jaw

Blueback Herring Alosa aestivalis and Alosa pseudoharengus. Upper margin of lower jaw rises sharply.