Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Engraulidae
(Anchovies) > Engraulinae
Etymology: Lycengraulis: Greek, lykos = wolf + Greek, eggraulis, -eos = anchovy (Ref. 45335). More on authors: Spix & Agassiz.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range ? - 40 m (Ref. 5217). Subtropical; 19°N - 41°S, 88°W - 34°W (Ref. 101638)
Western Atlantic: Belize (but no southerly records until Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela); then from Gulf of Venezuela and Trinidad south to Argentina at Carmen de Patagones; also lower and sometimes middle parts of the Orinoco, the Amazon to above Manaus, and Paraná to about Corrientes, and in smaller rivers.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 23.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 50628); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 57.00 g (Ref. 118626)
soft rays: 21 - 28. Depth widely variable. Snout about 2/3 eye diameter; maxilla moderate, pointed, reaching onto sub-operculum. Gill rakers short, the longest not less than pupil diameter in adults. Dorsal fin origin behind midpoint of body; anal fin origin below 6th-8th branched dorsal fin rays. Silver stripe up to twice eye diameter at widest, lost in fishes over 10 cm SL. Curve of black dots on operculum (Ref. 189). Grayish blue dorsally, fins yellowish with translucent membranes and a blackish caudal margin (Ref. 27363).
Occurs in brackish estuaries and adjacent marine areas; penetrates freshwater (Ref. 5217). Forms moderate schools. Usually migrating from estuaries or the sea, but possibly the limnichthys of Lake Maracaibo and the amazonensis represent purely freshwater forms. In freshwater, it feeds principally on small fishes, prawns and copepods; also insect larvae. At sea, it feeds on fishes and various crustaceans. Spawns in freshwater. Year round occurrence of eggs reported.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Spawn in school (Ref. 205).
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. (Ref. 189)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 15.1 - 28, mean 26.2 (based on 250 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00575 (0.00467 - 0.00709), b=3.16 (3.10 - 3.22), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.67 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming tmax>3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .