HERRINGS - Clupeidae
Chiefly marine coastal and schooling fishes; some freshwater and anadromous. Body usually fusiform, round to strongly compressed. Head without scales; jaw teeth, when present, are small or minute. A single dorsal fin, small and near midpoint of body; pelvic fins more or less below dorsal fin base; dorsal and pelvic fins absent in some species; soft rays only. Lateral line spanning a few scales behind the head in some species, missing in others; scales cycloid (smooth to touch). Branchiostegal rays usually 5-10. Most feed on small planktonic animals.
Size range (adults): from 2 to 75 cm
Latin, clupea = sardine, derived from Clupeus = shield; doubtless a reference to the scales covering the body of the fish + Greek, odous = teeth