Nidifugous; vomer large; sternum without processus obliqui.
In the Desmognathae, the vomer is either abortive or so small as toy disappear from the skeleton.
Lari.-Aquatic, vomer complete.
The sprat cannot be confounded with the herring, as it has no teeth on the vomer and only 47 or 48 scales in the lateral line.
The vomer is broad, abruptly truncated in front, and deeply cleft behind, so as to embrace the rostrum of the sphenoid; the palatals have produced postero-external angles; the maxillo-palatals are slender at their origin, and extend obliquely inwards and forwards over the palatals, ending beneath the vomer in expanded extremities, not united either with one another or with the vomer, nor does the latter unite with the nasal septum, though that is frequently ossified.
Herrings are readily recognized and distinguished from the other species of Clupea by having an ovate patch of very small teeth on the vomer (that is, the centre of the palate).