PORT PHILLIP BAY


Australian Anchovy 

Engraulis australis

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 13-16
Anal fin spines/rays: 17-19
Caudal fin rays: 19
Pectoral fin rays: 14-16
Ventral fin spines/rays: 7

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other mersitics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Mostly small schooling fishes with silvery streamlined bodies, large scales, a single short-based dorsal fin, abdominal pelvic fins and a forked tail. Many species have a well-developed row of scutes along the belly, and some have a row of scutes behind the head.

Family level detail.
Small elongate, cylindrical or compressed fishes with a broad silvery band along the side, a blunt snout projecting in front of the large mouth, jaws reaching well beyond the eye. They have a single short-based dorsal fin at midbody, pelvic fins below dorsal fin, a row of weak scutes along the belly and weakly attached cycloid scales. Anchovies feed by opening their mouths wide to filter plankton from the water column. To 25 cm.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Clupeiformes
Family:
Engraulidae
Genus:
Engraulis
Species:
australis

General Description

Body long slender, slightly compressed; snout bluntly rounded, protruding in front of the very large mouth; jaws reaching well beyond eye; dorsal fin short-based, on middle of back, anterior rays much longer than posterior rays; caudal fin deeply forked. Greenish above, silvery white below, with broad silver stripe along midsides; head mostly silver, fins mostly transparent. To 15 cm.

Biology

Anchovies are of great commercial importance throughout their range. They form large, dense schools in offshore and inshore surface waters.

Habitat

Offshore and inshore waters, in depths of 0-200 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

New Zealand and western, southern and eastern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Sardines, pilchards and allies

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Max Size

15 cm

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Australian Anchovy, Engraulis australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6294

Text: creative commons cc by licence