Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Atheriniformes > Atherinopsidae > Atherinops > Atherinops affinis

Atherinops affinis (Topsmelt silverside; Topsmelt)

Synonyms: Atherinops affinis affinis; Atherinops affinis littoralis; Atherinops cedroscensis; Atherinops guadalupae; Atherinops insularum; Atherinops insularum cedroscensis; Atherinops insularum guadalupae; Atherinops littoralis; Atherinops magdalenae; Atherinops oregonia; Atherinopsis affinis
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Wikipedia Abstract

Atherinops affinis, the topsmelt silverside or simply topsmelt, is a species of Neotropical silverside native to the eastern Pacific Ocean. This fish is found along the west coast of North America from southern British Columbia to Baja California. It is marine and it often schools in relatively shallow water such as estuaries, bays, rocky intertidal zones and kelp forests, where it feeds on zooplankton.
View Wikipedia Record: Atherinops affinis


Maximum Longevity [1]  9 years

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Rio Colorado Biosphere Reserve VI 2320468 Sonora, Mexico  
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary   California, United States
Channel Islands National Park II 139010 California, United States
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge IV 352 California, United States
Golden Gate National Recreation Area V 26135 California, United States
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve II 137900 British Columbia, Canada
Point Reyes National Seashore II 27068 California, United States


Prey / Diet

Atherinops affinis (Topsmelt silverside)[2]
Corophium alienense[3]
Nippoleucon hinumensis[3]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Leptocottus armatus (Cabezon)1
Menidia beryllina (Waxen silverside)2


Alopias vulpinus (Zorro thresher shark)[4]
Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron)[5]
Atherinops affinis (Topsmelt silverside)[2]
Cymatogaster aggregata (Shiner)[6]
Egretta thula (Snowy Egret)[5]
Larus canus (Mew Gull)[5]
Larus occidentalis (Western Gull)[5]
Leptocottus armatus (Cabezon)[2]
Paralabrax maculatofasciatus (Spotted sand bass)[7]
Pelecanus occidentalis (Brown Pelican)[4]
Phalacrocorax auritus (Double-crested Cormorant)[2]
Phalacrocorax penicillatus (Brandt's Cormorant)[2]
Phoca vitulina (Harbor Seal)[4]
Rynchops niger (Black Skimmer)[4]
Steno bredanensis (Rough-toothed Dolphin)[4]
Sterna forsteri (Forster's Tern)[4]
Sternula antillarum (Least Tern)[4]
Thalasseus elegans (Elegant Tern)[4]
Uria aalge (Common Murre)[4]
Zalophus californianus (California Sealion)[2]
Zalophus japonicus (Japanese Sealion)[2]
Zalophus wollebaeki (Galapagos Sea Lion)[2]


Parasitized by 
Archigyrodactylus atherinops[2]
Galactosomum humbargari[2]
Leuresthicola robersoni <Unverified Name>[8]
Mesostephanus appendiculatus[2]
Phocitremoides ovale[2]
Pygidiopsoides spindalis[2]
Renicola buchanani[2]
Spirocamallanus pereirai[8]
Stictodora hancocki[2]


California Current; Canada; Eastern Pacific: Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada to Baja California, Mexico and the Gulf of California.; Gulf of California; Mexico; Pacific Ocean; Pacific, Eastern Central; Pacific, Northeast; USA (contiguous states);



Attributes / relations provided by 1Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495. 2Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics. 3Community composition and diet of fishes as a function of tidal channel geomorphology, Tammie A. Visintainer, Stephen M. Bollens, Charles Simenstad, Mar Ecol Prog Ser 321: 227–243, 2006 4Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Ecological Informatics 29(1): 45-56. Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Dryad Digital Repository. 5Lafferty, K. D., R. F. Hechinger, J. C. Shaw, K. L. Whitney and A. M. Kuris (in press) Food webs and parasites in a salt marsh ecosystem. In Disease ecology: community structure and pathogen dynamics (eds S. Collinge and C. Ray). Oxford University Press, Oxford. 6Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979 7THE FEEDING HABITS OF SPOTTED SAND BASS (PARALABRAX MACULATOFASCIATUS) IN PUNTA BANDA ESTUARY, ENSENADA, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO, MANUEL MENDOZA-CARRANZA AND JORGE A. ROSALES-CASIÁN, CalCOFl Rep., Vol. 41, 2000, p. 194-200 8Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
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Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access