Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Engraulidae
(Anchovies) > Engraulinae
Etymology: Stolephorus: Greek, stole, -es = garment + Greek, pherein = to carry (Ref. 45335); zephyrus: The specific name "zephyrus" refers to the name of the Greek god of the west wind, in reference to the western distribution of the species, relative to that of Stolephorus mercurius and S. rex, with which it has previously been confused (Ref. 123745)
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; pelagic; depth range - m (Ref. ), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 0°C -
Indian Ocean: along the eastern coast of Africa from Kenya to Tanzania, the Mayotte Islands, and Madagascar (Ref. 123745).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 93.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 123745)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 20 - 22;
Vertebrae: 39 - 40. Diagnosis: A species of Stolephorus with following combination of characters: gill rakers 16-20 in upper series of first gill arch, 22-26 in lower series, 39-46 in total; gill rakers 12-14 in upper series of second gill arch, 21-26 in lower series, 33-40 in total; gill rakers 9-12 in upper series on third gill arch, 11-15 in lower series, 23-26 in total; gill rakers 7-9 in upper series on fourth gill arch, 10-12 in lower series, 17-20 in total; gill rakers 3-6 on hind face of third gill arch; prepelvic scutes 3-5, lacking spines; transverse scales 8; vertebrae 20 + 19-20 = 39-40; maxilla rather long, posterior tip just reaching, or slightly beyond, posterior margin of preopercle, slightly beyond anterior margin in individuals smaller than 40 mm standard length, 16.7-20.4% of standard length, 64.4-83.3% of head length; caudal peduncle short, 15.4-18.2% of standard length; no predorsal scutes; pelvic scute without spine; posterior border of preopercle convex, rounded; two pairs of dark patches on parietal and occipital regions without a following pair of dark lines; no black spots below eye and lower-jaw tip (Ref. 123745). Stolephorus zephyrus is easily distinguished from all other congeners, except for S. insignus, by a rather long maxilla extending posteriorly to, or slightly beyond, the posterior margin of the preopercle, the pelvic fin posteriorly reaching to vertical through the dorsal fin when depressed, no spines on dorsal-fin origin and pelvic scute, a convexly rounded posterior preopercle margin, no black spots on the suborbital area and lower-jaw tip; distinct paired dark patches on the parietal and occipital regions without following paired lines, and fewer than 27 lower gill rakers on the first gill arch (Ref. 123745). It can be distinguished from S. insignus by lower gill-raker numbers on the first gill arch, 16-20 + 22-26 = 39-46 in S. zephyrus vs. 19-21 + 26-28 = 46-49 in S. insignus; and a shorter caudal peduncle, 15.4-18.2% of standard length vs. 18.4-19.8% (Ref. 123745). Stolephorus zephyrus is easily distinguished from S. mercurius and S. rex due to the lack of paired pigmented lines on the dorsum of the former from the occipital region to the dorsal-fin origin; it further differs from S. mercurius in having a more slender body, body depth 19.5-24.6% of standard length in S. zephyrus larger than 40 mm standard length vs. 18.0-20.8 in S. mercurius, and lower gill-raker numbers on the first gill arch, 16-20 + 22-26 = 39-46 vs. 18-22 + 24-28 = 44-49 in S. mercurius; and from S. rex in having a shorter head, 23.9-27.5% of standard length in S. zephyrus vs. 24.3-27.6% in S. rex (Ref. 123745).
Found in estuarine waters and mangrove lagoons and collected abundantly during northeast monsoon seasons (Ref. 123745).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Hata, H., S. Lavoué and H. Motomura, 2021. Taxonomic status of nominal species of the anchovy genus Stolephorus previously regarded as synonyms of Stolephorus commersonnii Lacepède 1803 and Stolephorus indicus (van Hasselt 1823), and descriptions of three new species (Clupeiformes: Engraulidae). Ichthyol. Res. (Ref. 123745)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= No PD50 data [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00525 (0.00249 - 0.01105), b=3.13 (2.96 - 3.30), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.5 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (63 of 100) .