Atherina is a genus of fish of silverside family Atherinidae, found in the temperate and tropic zones. Up to 15 cm long, they are widespread in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Sea of Azov in lagoons and estuaries. It comes to the low stream of the Dnieper, Southern Bug, Dniester and Danube Rivers.
There are currently five recognized species in this genus:
Species of Atherina are objects in the traditional Italian, Catalan, Occitan, south-Ukrainian, Turkish, and Greek cuisine in fried form. The fish are lightly powdered with wheat flour before being dropped in hot olive oil. In Ukraine and Greece, it is commercially important species.
These fishes lived from the Eocene age to Miocene (from 55.8 to 11.608 million years ago).[clarification needed] Fossils have been found in Kazakhstan and in Italy.