Anchoa lyolepis

Common Name

Shortfinger Anchovy

Year Described

Evermann & Marsh, 1900


Dorsal Fin: 12-15
Anal Fin: 19-23
Pectoral Fin: 12-14
Gill Rakers: 15-21 upper, 19-26 lower
Vertebrae: 41-43
Lateral Line Scales: 40-44

Body elongate and laterally compressed. Body depth 17-20% TL. Snout conical and about equal to eye diameter. Mouth very large and inferior. Maxilla tip extends over preoperculum to nearly opercular edge. Teeth small. Suborbital bone much larger than eye diameter. Pseudobranch longer than eye diameter and extends 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 base (<eye diameter). Pelvic fin equally distant from anal and pectoral fin. Pelvic fin with seven rays. Anal fin origin under last rays of dorsal fin and has a long base. Caudal fin forked. Anus closer to anal fin than pelvic fin base. 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 90mm TL.


An inshore species found in clear marine waters but not in low salinities. Schooling.


North Carolina to Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean islands, 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.

Other Notes

This and Anchoa filifera are the only Caribbean anchovies with a long pseudobranch filament patch extending onto opercular flap.