Anchovy (Engraulis Encrasicolus)

Latin name: Engraulis encrasicolus
Common name: Anchovy
In other languages: E: Boqueron, F: Anchois Commun, D: Sardelle
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Engraulididae
Genus: Engraulis

Distribution: Mediterranean, Atlantic.

Life Span: 2 to 4 years.

Reproduction: Planctonic eggs, hatch at 3 - 4 mm, mature at 1 year of age.

Behaviour: A pelagic fish that moves around in very large shoals.

Habitat: Moving into inshore waters to spawn during the summer months, they will stay close to the seabed when resources permit.

Diet: Zooplankton, fish eggs and fish larvae.

Shape: Rounded body, long jaws and prominent snout, mouth goes behind eye.

Size: Common: 7 - 15cm, maximum: 20cm

Colour: Bluish-green on top, silvery sides.

Enemies: Large fish, sea birds, humans. We have seen the water literally boiling with anchovy in the Strait of Gibraltar with hundreds of yellow-legged herring gulls feeding on them from above, while an assortment of larger fish feed on them from below. At times like this, the disturbance of the surface water sounds like heavy rain falling on the surface of the sea.