Anchoa hepsetus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Broad-striped anchovy
photo by Flescher, D.

Family:  Engraulidae (Anchovies), subfamily: Engraulinae
Max. size:  15.3 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  pelagic-neritic; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 70 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA perhaps occasionally straying north to Maine or even Nova Scotia (Canada), south to Fort Pierce, Florida (but not Florida Keys) and at least northern Gulf of Mexico; also from Gulf of Venezuela south to Uruguay. Replaced by Anchoa colonensis in the West Indies.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-17; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 20-24. Snout pointed, about 3/4 eye diameter; maxilla long, tips pointed, reaching beyond hind border of pre-operculum, almost to gill opening; gill cover canals of panamensis-type. Anal fin origin below about midpoint of dorsal fin base. Anus nearer to anal fin origin than to pelvic fin tips. Silver stripe along flank (a dark line above) of uniform width, narrowed immediately behind band (Ref. 189). Back greenish, some yellowish on head. Melanophores outline all dorsal scales (Ref. 7251).
Biology:  Forms dense schools, often in shallow waters close to shore. Able to tolerate a wide range of salinities, from hypersaline to almost fresh. Feeds on copepods when young, then on gastropods, foraminifers and an occasional ostracods and annelid. Breeding was recorded in April through to July at Beaufort, North Carolina. Breeds in harbors, estuaries and sounds. Eggs are elliptical, transparent, without oil globule, the yolk appearing `cellular' (Ref. 189). Great variation. Principal parasites are nematodes and cestodes (Scolex polymorphus and Rhynchobothrium sp.) and trematodes (Distomum appendiculatum and Distomum sp). Marketed as food (Ref. 37032).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 24 August 2012 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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