Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Engraulidae
Etymology: Engraulis: Greek, eggraulis, -eos = anchovy (Ref. 45335); mordax: Genus name from the Greek 'engraulis' meaning anchovy; species name from the Latin 'mordax' meaning biting (Ref. 27436). More on author: Girard.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; pelagic-neritic; depth range 0 - 300 m (Ref. 265), usually ? - 219 m (Ref. 54433). Subtropical; 51°N - 21°N, 131°W - 108°W (Ref. 54433)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 9.6  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 24.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27436); common length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9988); max. published weight: 68 g (Ref. 56527); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 6884)
soft rays: 19 - 26;
Vertebrae: 43 - 47. Snout quite sharply pointed; maxilla moderate, tip sharply pointed, reaching to or almost to hind border of pre-operculum, projecting well beyond tip of second supra-maxilla; tip of lower jaw below nostril. gill rakers slender, long; absent on hind face of third epibranchial. Anal fin origin under about base of last dorsal fin ray. A silver stripe along flank, disappearing with age.
Northeast Pacific: northern Vancouver Island south to Cape San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico. Two subspecies recognized: Engraulis mordax mordax from British Columbia to Baja California and Engraulis mordax nanus in Bays of California.
Usually found in coastal waters within about 30 km from shore, but as far out as 480 km, forming large, tightly packed schools. Enters bays and inlets. Feeds on euphausiids, copepods and decapod larvae, both by random filter-feeding and by 'pecking' at prey. Oviparous, epipelagic batch spawner (Ref. 6882). Spawns throughout the year, peaking once (Ref. 6882). Processed into fishmeal, used as bait for tuna, occasionally canned (Ref. 9298).
Whitehead, P.J.P., G.J. Nelson and T. Wongratana, 1988. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (Suborder Clupeoidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/2):305-579. Rome: FAO.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; bait: usually
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5020 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00572 (-0.10205 - 0.11350), b=3.05652 (2.98375 - 3.12929), based on LWR estimates for species & family-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.0 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (rm=0.36; K=0.2-0.6; tm=1-4; tmax=7; Fec=4000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (30 of 100) .