E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Engraulis mordax Girard, 1854
Californian Anchovy; Northern Anchovy; Northern Anchovy
Family: Engraulidae
Photo of species

© Tim Loh  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #126052)

Source: Distribution of Engraulis mordax as compiled by Aquamaps
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Species Information

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14 - 19; Anal spines: 0; Anal 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.

Source: FishBase. Whitehead, P.J.P., G.J. Nelson and T Wongratana. 1988 . (Ref. 189)


Species Biology

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). pelagic-neritic; marine; depth range 0 - 300 m (Ref. 265), usually ? - 219 m (Ref. 54433). Subtropical.

Source: FishBase. Whitehead, P.J.P., G.J. Nelson and T Wongratana. 1988 . (Ref. 189)



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.

Source: FishBase. Whitehead, P.J.P., G.J. Nelson and T Wongratana. 1988 . (Ref. 189)

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeSNRNo StatusNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-04-22 9:23:29 AM]
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