Fun Silverside Fish Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Silverside Fish Facts For Kids

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Silverside or Atlantic silverside is a common, small-sized fish.

This species resembles bluefish and striped bass in terms of its utility for human beings. It is also known for its striking silver-colored body and fins.

Atlantic silversides, as the name suggests, are found along the Atlantic coasts of North America. They are increasingly famous in places like the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Florida. The Chesapeake Bay is also filled with Atlantic silversides.

This fish species breeds in the summer and lays eggs at new moon and high tides. Young Atlantic silversides are born after 20 days, and they immediately become a part of a large school of fish. These schools are relatively easy to catch, and hence, people are in the habit of catching Atlantic silversides for consumption. Keep reading to learn more facts about Atlantic silversides.

Fun Silverside Fish Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Invertebrates and algae

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

3-7 in (7.6-17.7 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Rivers, Estuaries, Shorelines, Brackish And Marine Waters, Underwater Grasses


Canada, Atlantic Coast Of North America, Gulf Of St. Lawrence, Northeast Florida









Silverside Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a silverside fish?

As the name suggests, silverside or Atlantic silverside is a type of fish that is most commonly found along the Atlantic coast of North America. Atlantic silversides are essential parts of the marine ecosystem and food chain. Hence, they must be preserved.

What class of animal does a silverside fish belong to?

The name of the class that Atlantic silversides belong to is called Actinopterygii. However, we can just as easily classify them as fish.

How many silverside fish are there in the world?

Unfortunately, no records or studies can tell us the population size of this small fish species. A part of the reason behind this is that Atlantic silversides live in large schools and have a very stable population. Gauging the population of such a species, which also breeds very rapidly by laying eggs, is a very tough task.

Where does a silverside fish live?

Atlantic silversides live near the coast or shores. Silverside fish habitat is concentrated at the bottom of the sea since such habitat range provides them with a lot of protection against possible predators. They are found along sandy and gravel-laden areas, as well as in estuaries.

What is a silverside fish's habitat?

Silverside fish range is limited to the Atlantic coast of North America. Silverside fish distribution is exceptionally high near Florida, Chesapeake Bay, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada. Environmental factors, such as temperature and the population of predatory fish in these areas, help these fish live peacefully.

Who does silverside fish live with?

Atlantic silversides are one of the small fish species that like to live in large schools. This is a part of the strategy that such small fish adapt in order to stay away from predators. Silverside fish size does not give it much of an edge over other marine predatory fish, which is why they find their strength in unity.

How long does a silverside fish live?

Atlantic silverside fish life expectancy is particularly low. While fish of this species can grow to be around two years old, most of them die at or before the age of one.

How do they reproduce?

Like other species of fish, Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia) also reproduces by laying eggs. The breeding season extends from May to July. Large schools of Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia) gather to lay their eggs during the new moons or high tides. These eggs hatch within the summer season itself.

Hatching takes place after around 20 days of laying eggs. One of the most interesting things about Atlantic silverside species is that the sex of the fish that emerges from these eggs is also dependent on environmental factors, such as temperature. Studies have shown that most Atlantic silverside eggs laid in cooler regions turned out to be female fish, and the ones laid in warmer areas were all male.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List says that the conservation status of the Atlantic silverside species is that of Least Concern. This means that in spite of predators and other factors that hamper their life, silversides have a very strong population count and that they will be around for us to see and cherish for a long time.

Silverside Fun Facts 

What do silverside fish look like?

The name, Atlantic silverside, does justice to both the body of this fish species as well as its habitat range. Silversides are mostly silver in color, although some of the fish may have a greenish tinge on their bodies.

Silversides are small marine creatures, and their average length does not exceed a couple of inches. Apart from this, the underside of silversides is whitish in color, and top parts usually have a green-gray appearance. Silversides are also characterized by their small heads and large eyes. If you are wondering if you should be scared of them, you will be glad to know that their small mouths are toothless and can cause no harm.

When they are caught, schools of Atlantic silversides tend to flash very brightly.

*Please note that this is a school of sardines and not silverside fish. If you have an image of an Atlantic silverside, please let us know at [email protected]

How cute are they?

If you have ever caught a silverside or two, you must have found these tiny, deep-water fish extremely cute. Their large eyes create a fitting contrast against the small length of their body.

How do they communicate?

Unfortunately, there is a lack of information regarding the mode of communication taken up by silversides in particular. However, scientists have confirmed that fish most commonly communicate with each other through the use of motion and gestures.

How big is a silverside fish?

The small length of this fish species found along the North American Atlantic coast is probably its most striking feature. The range of Atlantic silverside length is 3-7 in (7.6-17.7 cm). Needless to say, these fish are very small.

How fast can a silverside fish swim?

As of yet, there are no studies to confirm the speed at which Atlantic silversides swim.

How much does a silverside fish weigh?

While there is no information related to the average weight of an Atlantic silverside, it can be estimated from the size of the species that the weight of each fish caught would be negligible.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no special names for the male and female Atlantic silversides. Hence, we lovingly refer to them as male Atlantic silversides and female Atlantic silversides.

What would you call a baby silverside fish?

Like in the case of all fish babies, a young Atlantic silverside would be called a fry.

What do they eat?

Atlantic silverside fish diet consists of invertebrates, such as worms and algae, found at the bottom of their marine habitat. They also feed on zooplankton, which is readily available in their native habitat.

Are they aggressive?

Neither a young nor a fully grown Atlantic silverside can cause any harm to humans. They are very small fish that do not even have teeth. Hence, there is hardly any reason to worry.

Would they make a good pet?

While this fish species is not picky about food and is pretty small, having an Atlantic silverside or two as pets may not be the greatest idea. This is because members of this species swim in large schools, which is an intrinsic part of their evolutionary nature. Hence, isolating a couple of fish to have in your tank may not be good for these creatures.

Did you know...

Young Atlantic silversides are born after 20 days of egg-laying.

They are similar to striped bass and bluefish in terms of human utility.

Silverside is also commonly called spearing or baitfish.

Naming the silverside fish

Found along the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic coast of North America, this fish is named after its silver-colored body.

Can you eat silverside fish?

 In some parts of the world, such as South America, silversides are a delicacy.

Written By
Shirin Biswas

Shirin is a writer at Kidadl. She previously worked as an English teacher, and as an editor at Quizzy. While working at Big Books Publishing, she edited study guides for children. Shirin has a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, and has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing.

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