Inland Silverside (Menidia beryllina) - Native

7 cm inland silverside.

These 3-inch inland silversides differ from the Atlantic silverside primarily by having a shorter anal fin and slightly larger scales.

Identification. Similar to the Atlantic silverside, but with a shorter anal fin (15-20 rays) and larger scales (16 scales along the sides before the dorsal fin).

Size. Commonly 2 to 2.5 inches. State survey max. size 4.2 inches. Max. reported size 5 inches.

Distribution. Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Massachusetts to Texas. They likely occur along the entire Connecticut coast-line, where they are typically common to abundant.

Inalnd silverside distribution map.

All maps created in 2009. See CT DEEP Fish Community Data for updated distributions.

Habits. More likely to enter fresh water than Atlantic silversides, although they will rarely travel far from salt water. Prefer quieter water and sand or gravel bottoms of estuaries and streams. Typically found in schools near the surface. Can be caught with small-mesh dip net or seine.

Comments. Also known as “tidewater” silverside. They are less common than and very difficult to distinguish from the Atlantic silverside without magnification.


Text and images adapted from Jacobs, R. P., O'Donnell, E. B., and Connecticut DEEP. (2009). A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. Hartford, CT. Available for purchase at the DEEP Store.