Anchoa cubana

Common Name

Cuban Anchovy

Year Described

Poey, 1868


Dorsal Fin: 14-16
Anal Fin: 20-25
Pectoral Fin: 13-14
Gill Rakers: 17-23 upper, 23-33 lower
Vertebrae: 42-45
Lateral Line Scales: 42-45

Body elongate and laterally compressed. Body depth 15-18% TL. Snout conical and 3/4 eye diameter in length. Mouth very large and inferior. Maxilla tip extends well over preoperculum (to edge). Teeth small. Suborbital bone slightly larger than eye diameter. Pseudobranch shorter than eye diameter (does not reach onto operculum). Dorsal fin origin a little past midpoint of body with a concave rear margin. Pectoral fin long, low and falls well short of pelvic fin (=eye diameter). Pelvic fin a bit closer to anal fin base than pectoral fin base. Pelvic fin with seven rays. Anal fin origin under middle of dorsal fin and has a long base. Caudal fin forked. Anus closer to pelvic fin base than anal fin origin. Scales cycloid and deciduous. Lateral line absent.


Body translucent with a wide (about eye diameter) silvery stripe that does not narrow significantly. Fins clear.


Maximum size to 75mm TL.


An inshore species found in clear marine waters. Schooling.


North Carolina to northern Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, through the Antilles, Yucatan to southern Brazil.


Hildebrand, S.F. 1964. Engraulidae and Clupeidae (pp. 152-454). In: Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Mem. Sears Fnd. Mar. Res. 1 (Vol. 3): 1-630.

McEachran, J.D. & J.D. Fechhelm. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 1: Myxiniformes to Gasterosteiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii + 1-1112.