Body cylindrical and elongate; ventral part of operculum with clear cut bony striae radiating downwards; belly rounded with ventral scutes; back blue green; flanks white, with 1 to 3 series of dark spots along the middle (Ref. 55763). The radiating bony striae on the operculum distinguish this species from all other clupeids in the area. The radiating bony striae on the operculum distinguish this fish from all other clupeids in the area. In New Zealand the species appears to grow larger (21.3 cm standard length; cf. 19.7 cm), has slightly larger eggs and a higher mean number of vertebrae (50.52; cf. 49 to 50.08 in various samples) (Ref. 859).
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