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Synonyms
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  • Engraulis encrasicolus  Fage, 1920(misspelt encrasicholus by many authors) Fage, 1920:6, 33 (Atlantic and Mediterranan races, each with two groups; misspelt encrassicholus). Pusanov, 1926:93 (subspecies atlanticus and mediterraneus after the Atlantic and Mediterranean races proposed by Fage, 1920; also subspecies maeoticus of Black Sea).
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  • ? Clupea vittargentea  Lacèpede, 1803:424, 458 (Mauritius, on Commerson MS; nomen dubium).
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  • Engraulis japonicus  Fowler, 1941d:694, (or incorrectly japonica ; Engraulis is masculine), (Japan, Korea, large synonymy).
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  • Engraulis capensis  Barnard, 1925:116 (Saldanha Bay, Table Bay, False Bay, Natal); Whitehead, 1964c:885 (Seychelles); Anders, 1965:103 (spawning); Baird & Geldenhuys, 1973: unpaged (biology, fishery); King & Macleod, 1976:18 et seq. (Food); Brownell, 1983:181 et seq. (laboratory rearing); Boyd & Hewitson, 1983:71 et seq. (distribution of larvae); Whitehead & Bauchot, 1986:47 (vittargentea discussed).
    FAO Names
    En - Southern African anchovy, Fr - Anchois de l'Afrique australe, Sp - Anchoa de Africa austral.
    3Alpha Code: ANC     Taxonomic Code: 1210600212
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Engraulis capensis  Gilchrist, 1913, Mar.biol.Rep., Cape Tn, 1:42, fig. (South Africa).
    Diagnostic Features
    Hardly differs from the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) and can be identified from that description. Of other anchovies in southern and eastern African waters, species of Stolephorus have 3 to 7 sharp needle-like scutes along the belly, while species of Thryssa have compressed bodies and a keel of scutes along the belly. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Southeastern Atlantic and western Indian Ocean (Atlantic coasts of southern Africa, from Angola/Namibia border south to Cape Town, then north to about Lourenço Marques; recorded from Mauritius and the Seychelles, also in upwelling area around Somalia).
    Habitat and Biology
    Marine, pelagic,coastal, in shallow inshore waters, but also down to about 200 m,forming large schools.Feeds chiefly on calanoid copepods when juvenile, gradually switching to phytoplankton at about 5 cm standard length.
    Spawns from early spring to late summer (October to April in southern African waters, with a peak in November/December in the south, but in February off Namibia), in coastal waters and not more than 80 km offshore; eggs ellipsoidal. 
    Size
    To 13 cm standard length.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Not fully exploited in southern African waters until 1962, but in some years then contributing over half the total pelagic fish catch, but with considerable fluctuations, including a tendency for increased catches as the sardine fishery declined. After a peak of 969 401 t reached in 1987, in 1995 total catches of 218 331 t have been reported to FAO, almost 80% by South Africa, the rest by Namibia. Caught chiefly by purse seines, the Southern African anchovy schools sometimes so dense that up to 100 t could be caught in the early days with a single throw (Robinson, 1966); catches increase from April and reach a peak in May. The recorded catch in 1996 for FAO Statistics was 41 792 t
    Local Names
    SOUTH AFRICA : Kaapse ansjovis .
    Remarks
    The northern limit of this species along the Atlantic coast of Africa is arbitrary since there is perhaps no distributional break between these populations and those of the European anchovy (E. encrasicolus ). It is not yet certain that the two are distinct. The Indian Ocean records from Mauritius and the Seychelles may represent strays, but the appearance of Engraulis during upwelling off Somalia seems more regular.
    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.
    Bibliography
    Baird & Geldenhuys, (1973 - biology, fishery)
    King & Macleod, (1976 - food).
     
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