Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Anchovia macrolepidota, Big-scale anchovy, Large-scale anchovy

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

deep body
snout < 3/4 eye, pointed
adult no stripe
fins yellow
D & C: borders dark
top jaw reaches preopercle, pointed
70-125 lower gill rakers
pectoral to pelvic base
A: 26-29, origin under center D



Anchovia macrolepidota (Kner, 1863)

Big-scale anchovy, Large-scale anchovy

Deep body, strongly compressed; snout short (< ¾ eye diameter) pointed; top jaw relatively short, reaches onto preoperculum, its tip pointed; very fine teeth on lower jaw; gill rakers fine and slender, lower rakers 70-135, 70 at 5 cm SL, 100 at 8-13 cm, and 120-135 in large fish, none on rear face of 3rd  arch; gill membrane not broadly joined across under gills; dorsal fin15, origin at about midbody; pectorals reaching pelvic base; anal fin base long iii, 26-29 rays, origin under ~ middle of dorsal fin base.

Bluish on back, silvery below; a silvery stripe sometimes present along middle of side, not in adults; fins yellowish, tail fin with dark border.

Size: gows to about 25 cm.

Inhabits sandy shores and brackish river mouths forming large schools.

Depth: 0-10 m.

The Gulf of California to northern Peru.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Near Surface
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Freshwater
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Phytoplankton
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • No Data
  • Pelagic fish eggs
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10