Family: ENGRAULIDAE, Anchovies
belly - no scutes
Anchovies are small (to ~ 35 cm) herring-like fishes that typically have a prominent conical snout that projects beyond the tip of the lower jaw; rear of the mouth extending well behind the eye; lower jaw suspended below the head; jaw teeth absent, small or minute, canines in Lycengraulis; gill rakers usually short, not numerous (except long and numerous in Anchovia); 1 dorsal fin, short, usually near mid-body; pectorals low on body; pelvics well behind pectorals, before dorsal fin base; scales smooth, ~ 30-60 along side; no keel of hard spiny scales (scutes) along belly (in New World species); usually a silver stripe along the flank.
The family is found worldwide in all seas between about 60 degrees north and 50 degrees south latitude. A few species occur permanently in fresh water. There are 141 species in 17 genera; 25 species in 6 genera occur in our region.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON & RODOLFO CLARO, AFTER NIZINSKI & MUNROE (2002)