Skip to main content

Two new species of Thrissina (Clupeiformes: Engraulidae) from the northern Indian Ocean and redescription of Thrissina vitrirostris (Gilchrist and Thompson 1908)


Thrissina cultella sp. nov., and Thrissina serena sp. nov., are described from the Bay of Bengal and northwestern Indian Ocean, respectively. Although both species resemble T. vitrirostris (Gilchrist and Thompson 1908), which is redescribed from both type and non-type specimens, in having a long upper jaw (posterior tip reaching to pectoral-fin insertion) and similar numbers of gill rakers and ventral scutes, the two new species differ in having fewer transverse scales (9–10 in both vs. 11–12 in T. vitrirostris). Thrissina cultella differs from T. serena in having a slender body [24.4–26.9% of standard length (SL) vs. 26.6–29.4% SL in T. serena], shorter head (25.2–27.1% SL vs. 26.2–27.3%) and pectoral fin (17.5–19.1% SL vs. 19.5–21.3%), and longer pelvic fin (9.3–10.5% SL vs. 7.8–8.7%).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


  • Cuvier G (1829) Le Règne Animal, distribué d’après son organisation, pour servir de base à l’histoire naturelle des animaux et d’introduction à l’anatomie comparée. Edition 2, vol 2. Chez Déterville, Paris

  • De Bruin GHP, Russell BC, Bogusch A (1994) FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. The marine fishery resources of Sri Lanka. FAO, Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Dutt S (1961) A new record of the anchovy Thrissocles vitrirostris Gilchrist and Thompson from Indian waters. Current Sci 30:104.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilchrist JDF, Thompson WW (1908) Descriptions of fishes from the coast of Natal. Ann S Afr Mus 6:145–206

    Google Scholar 

  • Hata H, Motomura H (2017) A new species of anchovy, Encrasicholina auster (Clupeiformes: Engraulidae), from Fiji, southwestern Pacific Ocean. N Z J Zool. (also appeared in N Z J Zool 44:122‒128)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jordan DS, Seale A (1925) Analysis of the genera of anchovies or Engraulidae. Copeia 141:27–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kottelat M (2013) The fishes of the inland waters of Southeast Asia. Raffles Bull Zool Suppl 27:1–663

    Google Scholar 

  • Losse GF (1966) Check list of elopoid and clupeoid fishes in east African coastal waters. J E Afr Natl Hist Soc Nat Mus 25:166–178

    Google Scholar 

  • Losse GF (1968) The elopoid and clupeoid fishes of east African coastal waters. J E Afr Natl Hist Soc Nat Mus, 27:77–115

    Google Scholar 

  • Psomadakis PN, Osmany HB, Maazzam M (2015) Field identification guide to the living marine resources of Pakistan. FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. FAO, Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Rutter CL (1897) A collection of fishes obtained in Swatow, China, by Miss Adele M. Fielde. Proc Acad Nat Sci Phil, 49:56–90

    Google Scholar 

  • Sabaj MH (2016) Standard symbolic codes for institutional resource collections in herpetology and ichthyology: an online reference. Version 6.5 (16 August 2016). American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Washington, DC. Accessed 1 Apr. 2019

  • Whitehead PJP (1965) A review of the elopoid and clupeoid fishes of the Red Sea and adjacent regions. Bull Br Mus Nat Hist (Zool) 12:227–281

    Google Scholar 

  • Whitehead PJP (1972) A synopsis of the clupeoid fishes of India. J Mar Biol Assoc India 14:160–256

    Google Scholar 

  • Whitehead PJP, Nelson GJ, Wongratana T (1988) FAO species catalogue vol 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. Part 2 – Engraulidae. FAO Fisheries Synopsis, no 125 7:i–viii + 305–579

  • Whitehead PJP, Wongratana T (1984) Engraulidae. In: Fischer W, Bianchi G (eds) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51), vol 2. Bony fishes (Congiopodidae to Lophotidae). FAO, Rome, pp ENGR–ENGR Thrys 7

  • Wongratana T (1983) Diagnoses of 24 new species and proposal of a new name for a species of Indo-Pacific clupeoid fishes. Jpn J Ichthyol 29:385–407

    Google Scholar 

  • Wongratana T, Munroe TA, Nizinski MS (1999) Order Clupeiformes. Engraulidae. Anchovies. In: Carpenter KE, Niem VH (eds) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the western central Pacific, vol 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes pt 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae), FAO, Rome, pp 1698–1753

Download references


We thank D. Catania and M. Hoang (CAS), A. Bosman and D. Clarke (SAM), and J. Williams, K. Murphy, S. Raredon, and D. Pitassy (USNM) for opportunities to examine specimens of the genus Thrissina. We also thank Y. Haraguchi and other volunteers, and students of KAUM for their curatorial assistance, and G. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) for reading the manuscript and providing help with English. This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for JSPS Fellows (DC2: 29-6652); the Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant from the Japan Science Society (28-745); JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP19770067, JP26241027, JP24370041, JP23580259, and JP26450265; the JSPS Core-to-Core Program: B Asia-Africa Science Platforms; the “Biological Properties of Biodiversity Hotspots in Japan” project of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba, Japan; “Establishment of Research and Education Network on Biodiversity and Its Conservation in the Satsunan Islands” project of Kagoshima University adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan; and the “Island Research” project of Kagoshima University.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Harutaka Hata.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This article was registered in the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature (ZooBank) as 6062541F-C701-47E8-89BE-875872D9A850.

This article was published as an Online First article on the online publication date shown on this page.

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hata, H., Motomura, H. Two new species of Thrissina (Clupeiformes: Engraulidae) from the northern Indian Ocean and redescription of Thrissina vitrirostris (Gilchrist and Thompson 1908). Ichthyol Res 67, 155–166 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: