Redear Herring

Redear Herring Anguilla
Stuart Wynne 21st June 2020 No Comments

Redear Herring (Harengula humeralis) are small silvery glittering jewels that spend much of their time swimming around the shallow sandy areas, snatching scraps of food and trying to avoid being eaten by hungry Barracuda or passing sea birds. Seeing these fish darting around in polarised schools is probably one of my favourite things when either diving or snorkelling. Being able to duck-dive down under them, and swim back up through the middle of a big shoal is a very special thing to experience, watching them sparkle and glint in the sun as they dash away in all directions.

Interestingly, Redear Herring are nocturnal predators, feeding on copepods, larvae and juveniles of decapods, fishes, and mantis shrimps. They also reportedly like to hang out in polluted water, although the term ‘polluted’ here can simply mean organically enriched which may cause more of their food items to be present. Redear Herring have multiple spawnings per year, with a size at maturity of a little over 9 cm. Most individuals mature at age one year (8-13 cm), and all are mature by age two, thus this species is short lived but with a fast growth rate.

Originally posted on Instagram @sea_anguilla with the text: A massive shoal of Redear Herring darting around the shallows at Katouche Bay. When small these fish can form huge groups of silvery glints twinkling in the sunlight, looking almost fake. Those photographed were quite large and provided a tasty treat for diving Pelicans who had spotted them from above. The whole show was quite a special thing to watch.