Minute teeth in both jaws: infra-orbitals and gill-covers veined: subopercle rounded at bottom: dorsal behind the centre of gravity: ventrals beneath the middle of the dorsal.
C. Harengus, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 522. Block, Ichth. pl. 29. f. 1. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 106. Flem. Brit. An. p. 182. Harengus, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 219. tab. P. 1. f. 2. British Herring, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 335. pl. 68. no. 160. Common Herring, Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 444. pl. 79. Hareng commun, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 317.
Ten to twelve inches; sometimes more.
(Form). Oval; rather elongated: dorsal and ventral lines equally convex: greatest depth one-fifth of the entire length, excluding caudal: thickness half the depth: sides compressed: belly sharply cari-nated, but without any sensible serratures: head triangular, very much compressed; one-fifth of the entire length, this last being measured to the base of the caudal fork: lower jaw longer than the upper, with a few minute teeth confined to its extremity; upper jaw with the lower half of the maxillaries finely serrated: a few minute teeth on the tongue, as well as on the vomer: eyes large; their diameter contained about four times and a half in the length of the head: infra-orbitals, preopercle, and upper part of the opercle, marked with fine vein-like stria?: subopercle rounded beneath: gill-opening extremely large: lateral line not very distinct; its course nearly straight, and rather above the middle: scales large, very deciduous: dorsal fin behind the centre of gravity, commencing exactly half-way between the end of the snout and base of the caudal rays; rays rapidly increasing from the first, which is very short, to the fifth, which is longest; then gradually decreasing; the first four simple, the succeeding ones branched: anal commencing beyond the tip of the dorsal, this last being laid back; of about the same length as that fin, but not so high; fourth and some of the succeeding rays longest: caudal deeply forked: pectorals rather narrow, more than half the length of the head: ventrals attached beneath the middle of the dorsal, a vertical line from the first dorsal ray falling considerably in advance of them:
B. 8; D. 19; A. 17; C. 19, and 5 or 6 short ones; P. 17; V. 9.
Number of vertebrae fifty-six. (Colours). Back and upper portion of the sides deep sky-blue, tinged with sea-green: belly and flanks bright silvery: irides, cheeks, and gill-covers, tinged with gold.
A common and well-known species visiting our coasts in large shoals towards the end of Summer. Deposits its roe in October and November, after which it retires again into deep water. Food, according to Pennant, small Crustacea; sometimes the fry of its own species.