soft rays: 12 - 23. Total number of scutes 31 or 32. Lower gill rakers 88 to 126 (in fishes 9.5 to 11 cm standard length, strongly increasing with size of fish). Vertical striae on scales not meeting at center. The only other species of Sardinella with such a high gill raker count (more than 87) is S. fijiense (black caudal tips, western Pacific).