FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
FAO of the UN
Black and white drawing:   (click for more)

See tree map  display tree map
  • Engraulls anchoita  Hildebrand, 1943:18, fig.4 (on the types); Fowler, 1943:311, fig.1 (Punta José Maldonado, Uruguay); Hildebrand & Carvalho, 1948:285 (São Sebastão Island, São Paulo, Brazil); Ciechomski, 1965:6, figs 1-3 (Mar del Plata, eggs);Idem,1967a:58 (Mar del Plata,synopsis); Idem,1967b:67 (Mar del Plata, eggs and larvae), Idem,1967c:72 (Mar del Plata, food).
  • Engraulls anchoita  Whitehead, 1973:89, fig.30 b (maxilia)(relationships); Roux, 1973:51 (just southwest of Rio de Janeiro); Weiss, Feijó de Souza & Santos, 1976:12 et seq., figs 2,4,6 (breeding); Weiss & Feijó de Souza, 1977,2 et seq., figs 1-3,5 (larvae); Figueiredo & Menezes, 9178:29, fig.38 (compiled); Stehmann, 1979:62, fig.56 (Argertina); Bellisio, López & Torno, 1979:55, fig.20 (photo) (Argentina, synopsis); Matsuura & Nakatani, 1980:48, fig.4 (off Santos, Brazil; abundance of eggs).
  • Engraulls anchoita  Hansen, Cousseau & Gru, 1984:29 et seq., figs 1-7 (Argentina, growth, mortality); Sanchez & Ciechomski, 1984:52 et seq., fig.1 (Argentina, biomass if spawners); Nelson, 1984:425, tabs 1,2 (relationships, anal finrays, vertebrae); Acuña & Castello, 1986:32 (S.Brazil, pop., growth, reprod.).
    FAO Names
    En - Argentine anchovy, Fr - Anchois d'Argentine, Sp - Anchoíta.
    3Alpha Code: ANA     Taxonomic Code: 1210600206
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Engraulis anchoita  Hubbs & Marini, 1935, in Marini, 1935, Physis B.Aires, 11:448, fig. 2 (Mar del Plata, Argentina).
    Diagnostic Features
    Body slender, oval in cross-section, its depth about 5.5 times or more in standard length. Snout prominent, pointed, about 3/4 eye diameter; maxilla moderate, tip bluntly tapering or a little rounded, reaching to front margin of pre-operculum, extending a little beyond tip of second supra-maxilla;  teeth in jaws small, numerous.  Lower gillrakers 38 to 45, long and slender; no gillrakers on hind face of third epibranchial; pseudobranch long, reaching onto inner face of operculum.  Anal fin short, with iii 17 to 20 finrays, its origin a little behind base of last dorsal finray. A broad silver stripe along flank, disappearing in adults.  Anchoa marinii also has a long pseudobranch and just overlaps in anal finray count, but anal fin origin below midpoint of dorsal fin base; A. filifera and A. lyolepis have a long pseudobranch and a posterior anal fin origin, but like A. marinii have a longer and more sharply pointed maxilla (to or almost to hind border of pre-operculum); also, no species of Anchoa has more than 30 lower gillrakers.
    Geographical Distribution

    Launch the Aquatic Species Distribution map viewer

    Western South Atlantic (from a little north of Rio do Janeiro at 22°S to San Jorge Gulf, Argentina, at about 47° S).
    Habitat and Biology
    Marine pelagic,coastal and to about 800 km or more from the shore;forming dense schools atabout 30 to 90 depth in summer off Argentina, but down to 100 to 200 m depth in winter (Bellisio, López & Torno, 1979:56).Feeds as juveniles on zooplankton (copepods, their eggs and larvae especially calanoids), but with phytoplankton becoming increasingly important.
    Spawns throughout year most intensely and close to shore in October/November and again but more offshore and less intensely in May/June (distinct spring and autumn spawners proposed by Fuster de Plaza, 1964; situation perhaps more complex according to Ciechomski, 1967a).  Schools around southern Uruguay and northern Argentina move offshore toward the end of the year and northward in March to June, moving south again and close to shore in August to October.
    Reported to reach 22 cm total length, i.e., about 17 cm standard length.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Mainly exploited seasonally by small Argentinian fishing boats over the shelf, chiefly during the migration period September to October. The total reported catch for 1982 was 10 137 t, but according to Bellisio, López & Torno (1979:57) the annual sustainable catch could be increased to between 786 000 and 1 180 000 t. The most important gear are: purse seines, beach seines, lampara, ring nets, trap nets, gillnets.
    Some consumed fresh, the rest canned.The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 18 912 t. The countries with the largest catches were Argentina (9 832 t) and Uruguay (3 193 t).
    Local Names
    ARGENTINA : Anchoita .
    The relationship of this species to 'true' Engraulis (E. encrasicolus, E. eurystole, etc.) or to the Pacific species (E. ringens, E. mordax ) is not yet clear. Unlike Clupea, which is confined to the Northern Hemisphere and is 'replaced' Strangomera in the southern Hemisphere (eastern South Pacific), Engraulis encrasicolus and related species occur in the Southern Hemisphere (African and Australian waters), thus it is surprising to see E. anchoita 'replacing' the 'true' Engraulis in the South Atlantic. This seems to argue that its real affinities are with the eastern Pacific E. ringens and E. mordax .
    Source of Information
    FAO Species catalogue Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world. (Suborder CLUPEOIDEI) An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, anchovies and wolf-herrings. Part 2. Engraulididae.Whitehead, P.J.P. 1985.  FAO Fish. Synop., (125) Vol.7 Pt. 2:305-579.
    Acuña & Castello, (1986 - good summary of literature)
    Bellisio, López & Torno, (1979 - synopsis)
    Ciechomski, (1967a,b,c - a good synopsis, with some detailed information on breeding and feeding, also a number of further references to earlier work)
    Powered by FIGIS