Sillago sihama (Forsskål, 1775)
Sillago sihama (Forsskål, 1775)

Scientific Name: Sillago sihama

English Name: Silver sillago

Creole Name: Pes madanm

French Name: Pêche-madame argenté

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 11 - 13; Dorsal rays: 20-23; Anal spines: 2; Anal rays: 18-23.
Body elongate. Snout pointed. Mouth small and terminal. Villiform teeth in jaws. Scales on cheek. 
A small, sharp spine on opercle. First dorsal fin higher than second. Low Lateral line with 5 to 6 scale rows above it.
Colour. Silvery yellow-brown to light silvery pink dorsally shading to whitish or silvery on lower flanks and ventrally. A midlateral, silvery, longitudinal band normally present. Both dorsal fins and caudal fin dusky, other fins hyaline. Anal fin frequently with a whitish margin


Maturity: Lm 22.5 TL. Max Length: 31cm TL. Commonly to 20cm TL. 

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits shallow sandy bottoms of shores and bays, also estuaries (depth 0-60m, usually 0-2m). Form schools. Adults bury themselves in the sand when disturbed. Feeds primarily on small invertebrates. Oviparous. Larvae and juveniles are pelagic feeding on plankton. 

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in net fisheries of shallow water and by handline. It is a relatively uncommon component of the catch. 


Fischer, W. & G. Bianchi (eds), (1984).  FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing Area 51). Prepared and printed with the support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Rome, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, vols 1-6.

Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. 2019. FishBase. (19/08/19).

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Sparks, J.S. 2016. Sillago sihama (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List 2016: e.T203423A115349449. (19/08/19).


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