Engraulis anchoita

Common Name

Argentine Anchovy

Year Described

Hubbs & Marini, 1935


Dorsal Fin: 15-16
Anal Fin: 17-21
Pectoral Fin:
Gill Rakers: 38-45
Lateral Line Scales:

Body elongate and laterally compressed. Body slender (15-19% SL). Snout conical and 3/4 eye diameter in length. Mouth very large and inferior. Maxilla tip blunt and does not extend over rear preoperculur edge. Suborbital bone much longer than eye. Teeth small. Pseudobranch longer than eye diameter (reaches onto operculum). Branchiostegal rays joined only near lower jaw tip and narrowly separated along rest of isthmus. Dorsal fin at midpoint of body with a concave rear margin. Pectoral fin long, low and falls well short of pelvic fin base (~ eye diameter). Pelvic fin closer to pectoral fin than anal fin. Pelvic fin with seven rays. Anal fin origin behind last dorsal fin ray. Caudal fin forked. Anus closer to pelvic fin than anal fin origin. Scales cycloid and deciduous. Lateral line absent.


Body bright silvery with an abruptly dark blue back. Silvery stripe not apparent in life but present in preserved fish. Fins clear.


Maximum size to 170mm TL. Common under 100mm TL.


Inshore coastal to well offshore (1-200m). Migrates widely on a seasonal basis. Restricted to fully saline waters. Forms large schools.


Southern Brazil to Argentina.