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Striped anchovy Anchoa hepsetus (Linnaeus) 1758

[Jordan and Evermann (Stolephorus brownii), 1896-1900, p. 443.]

Striped anchovy (Anchoa hepsetus)

Figure 52.—Striped anchovy (Anchoa hepsetus), Somers Point, N. J., specimen 100 mm. long.


This anchovy resembles the preceding species closely, but its anal fin is shorter (20 or 21 rays) and originates under the last rays of the dorsal, and it has a very bright and well defined silvery band along each side. It is a larger and more robust fish than the other anchovy, often more than 4 inches long.


The bright silvery lateral band, already mentioned, is the most prominent marking on this fish. Fresh specimens are pale gray and iridescent, the upper surface of the head with some green and yellow; and the back has dusky dots. The dorsal and caudal fins are more or less dusky on some specimens.


Commonly 4 to 5 inches long, maximum length about 6 inches.

General range—

Abundant from Chesapeake Bay to the West Indies, and south to Uruguay; north as a stray to Maine and to the outer coast of Nova Scotia;[42] a more southerly fish than the other anchovy.

Occurrence in the Gulf of Maine—

The claim of this species for mention in the Gulf of Maine is based on one record off the mouth of the Penobscot River, near Portland, October 8, 1930.[43] One specimen was saved and identified, and the herring fishermen who brought it in stated that there were "lots of them" on that date. It is not likely that the striped anchovy is other than a straggler to the Gulf, else it would have been found there before this. As it is a gregarious fish, nearly always traveling in small schools, it is not astonishing that they may be found together in some numbers, on occasion, even out of their usual range.

[42] Five were taken in Bedford Basin, Halifax, Nova Scotia, on September 29, 1931 (Vladykov, Proc. Nova Scotia Inst. Sci., vol. 19, 1935, p. 3).

[43] Kendall, Bull. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., No. 58, 1931.