A Range Extension of the Atlantic Silverside, Menidia menidia, to Coastal Waters of Southwestern Newfoundland


  • Philip S. Sargent Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1C 5S7
  • D. A. Methven Department of Biology and Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick E2L 4L5
  • Robert G. Hooper Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1B 3X9
  • Cynthia H. McKenzie Ecological Sciences Section, Science Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1C 5X1




Atlantic Silverside, Menidia menidia, species distribution, range extension, Newfoundland


Previous literature documents Atlantic Silverside, Menidia menidia, as occurring from the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to northeastern Florida. Beach seining in St. George’s Bay, Newfoundland, revealed the presence of this species in coastal waters of southwestern Newfoundland. This is the first documented report of M. menidia in Newfoundland waters. This report extends the range of this species north of the Laurentian Channel, a significant biogeographic barrier to small coastal fishes. All M. menidia collected were young-of-the-year, less than 90 mm SL (Standard Length). These fish may be representative of a larger relict population originating from the Mid-Hypsithermal Interval (7000 years ago) that spawn in St. George’s Bay and migrate offshore for winter. Alternatively, these M. menidia may be survivors of a more southern spawning population carried northward by ocean currents.