South American pilchard

The South American pilchard, Sardinops sagax, is a sardine of the Family Clupeidae, the only member of the genus Sardinops, found in the indo-Pacific oceans. Their length is up to 15.75 in (40 cm). It has a number of other common names: Australian pilchard, Blue pilchard, Blue-bait, Californian pilchard, Chilean sardine, Japanese pilchard, Pacific sardine, and Southern African pilchard.

The South American pilchard is a coastal species that forms large schools. Coloration is blue green on the back with white flanks with 1 to 3 series of dark spots along the middle.

It occurs at temperatures ranging from 50 to 73.4°F (10 to 23°C) feeding mainly on planktonic crustaceans. Young fish feed on zooplankton such as copepod and adults on phytoplankton. It is oviparous, with pelagic eggs, and pelagic larvae. Its lifespan can be up to 25 years. In the California region, pilchards make northward migrations early in summer and travel back south again in autumn. With each year of life, the migration becomes farther.