Latin name: Engraulidae
size: 4 - 35cm
Older: 2 - 4 years
Appearance: silvery-green scales
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Plankton filter (planktivor)
food: Plankton, copepods
original origin: unknown
habitat: Sea, ocean, lake, river
natural enemies: practically all fish-eating fish
sexual maturity: about the age of two
mating season: depending on the climate
oviposition: up to 20,000 eggs
social behavior: Swarmfish
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the anchovy
- Anchovies describe a multivariate group of fish within the herring species that live together in large swarms.
- Anchovies colonize all marine waters of tropical and temperate climates.
- The most important species, also popular as edible fish, are Peruvian anchovies or Engraulis ringens and European anchovies or Engraulis encrasicolus.
- Engraulis ringens inhabits the cold waters of the Pacific off the coastline of Chile and Peru, where it can be found at depths of up to eighty meters.
- The European anchovy is found in much of the Atlantic, as well as in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal.
- It reaches a body length of up to twenty centimeters and attracts attention with its elongated and narrow shape. Anchovies living in southern regions are usually smaller.
- The anchovy has a pointed long upper jaw and a short, but reaching to the back of the eye mandible.
- The scales have a green-blue or green color on the back. Along the sides, a silver-shining and blue-gray thin stripe runs through young anchovies, which gradually disappears with increasing age.
- The anchovy swarms are found mainly near the coast, but also in estuaries, lagoons and lakes, especially in the spawning season.
- In summer, anchovies are often found near the surface of the water. In cold temperatures, they stay in the depths of the sea.
- Anchovies feed mainly on plankton and microorganisms as well as different types of tiny copepods. To capture the food, the anchovy tears open its mouth, tightens the gill trap and filters the plankton out of the water. Rudder crayfish are also caught as single prey animals.
- The spawning season can take place in summer or autumn, depending on the area of distribution. The oval eggs are released by the females into the water and then fertilized by the males.
- They swim for several days close to the surface of the water until the larvae, only a few millimeters, hatch.
- As one of the most popular edible fish, the anchovy is eaten fresh, as well as smoked, pickled and dried.