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Temporal range: Late Jurassic to present
Atlantic herring, Clupea harengus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Subclass: Neopterygii
Infraclass: Teleostei
Superorder: Clupeomorpha
Order: Clupeiformes
Bleeker, 1959

See text

Clupeiformes is the order of ray-finned fish that includes the herring family, Clupeidae, and the anchovy family, Engraulidae. The group includes many of the most important forage and food fish.

Clupeiformes are physostomes, which means that the gas bladder has a pneumatic duct connecting it to the gut. They typically lack a lateral line, but still have the eyes, fins and scales that are common to most fish, though not all fish have these attributes. They are generally silvery fish with streamlined, spindle-shaped, bodies, and they often school. Most species eat plankton which they filter from the water with their gill rakers.[1]


The order includes about 405 species in seven families:[2]

Order Clupeiformes

Timeline of genera


  1. Nelson, Gareth (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 91–95. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). "Clupeiformes" in FishBase. August 2012 version.