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Family Atherinidae - Hardyheads
Atherinomorus lacunosus - Robust Hardyhead
A school of Hardyheads.
A small silvery fish with a large eye and an iridescent stripe along the side of the body, always seen in large schools close to the shoreline. Maximum size about 13cm.
Can be seen in most bays of the island, but local abundance is highly seasonal. Most abundant over the warmer months of the year.
Pelagic (dwells near the water surface) but aggregates in large schools over reef areas near rocky shorelines and in mangroves.
Biology & Ecology
Hardyheads are plankton feeders, and a major food source for predators when they aggregate near the island in summer. They will jump en masse when attacked, making a spectacular silvery shower.
Papers and articles
Conand, F. 1993. Life history of the silverside Atherinomorous lacunosus (Atherinidae) in New Caledonia. J. Fish Biol 42:851-863 .