Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Anchoa spinifer, Spicule anchovy

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout 3/4 eye, prominent, pointed
body deep
back blue
C yellow
tip of D & rear border C black
top jaw reaches gill opening, pointed
12-19 lower gill rakers
rear edge operculum - triangular projection
pectoral reaches pelvic
A: 31-37, origin ~ center D

Anchoa spinifer (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1848)

Spicule anchovy

Moderately deep, strongly compressed; snout relatively prominent, pointed, ¾ eye diameter;  upper jaw elongate, reaching to edge of gill cover, its rear tip pointed; a small triangular projection on lower margin of gill cover (on suboperculum); membrane between gill covers not expanded at rear; third gill arch with a few short rakers on its rear face; 12-19 lower gill rakers; no large canine teeth; dorsal fin origin in mid-body; anal with long base, rays iii,31-37, origin ~ under center of dorsal fin; pectoral fin reaching beyond pelvic fin origin.

Bluish on back, silvery below; small specimens with silver midlateral stripe that disappears with age; tail fin yellow, with black edging.

Size: to 26 cm.

Habitat: coastal pelagic.

Depth: 0-55 m.

The only anchovy known from both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the Americas; southern Mexico to Ecuador.

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  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Water column only
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Water column
  • Freshwater
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Phytoplankton
  • Zooplankton
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
  • New world (East Pacific + West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 26
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 55