Bay Anchovy (anchoa Mitchilli): Species Account
Physical characteristics: Bay anchovies are typically 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 centimeters) in total length. They are nearly transparent and greenish and have a silvery band along the sides of the body. The snout overhangs the mouth, and the lower jawbone extends well beyond the eye.
Geographic range: Bay anchovies live along the Atlantic coast of North America from Maine to the Florida Keys and westward around the Gulf of Mexico south to the Yucatán peninsula.
Habitat: Bay anchovies live along the coast in estuaries, bays, and marshes and near sandy beaches. They usually live over muddy bottoms or among plants. Bay anchovies can handle a wide range of saltiness but are often found in water that is slightly less salty than seawater.
Diet: Bay anchovies usually eat plankton, mostly crustaceans, but sometimes they eat small fishes, snails and slugs, and crustaceans called isopods (EYE-suh-pods).
Behavior and reproduction: Bay anchovies swim in schools. They spend the winter in deep waters and migrate to shallow shores and wetlands for spawning in late spring to early summer. Spawning takes place during the evening hours. Females release the eggs into the water, where they are fertilized by males. The eggs float near the surface for approximately twenty-four hours after fertilization and then hatch. Bay anchovies mature to adults in two and one-half months.
Bay anchovies and people: Bay anchovies are used as bait and for making anchovy paste. They are important in the diet of fishes caught by commercial fishermen.
Conservation status: Bay anchovies are not threatened or endangered. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Berra, Tim M. Freshwater Fish Distribution. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 2001.
Gilbert, Carter Rowell, and James D. Williams. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Fishes: North America. New York: Knopf, 2002.
Niesen, Thomas M. The Marine Biology Coloring Book. 2nd ed. New York: HarperResource, 2000.
Ricciuti, Edward R. Fish. Woodbridge, CT: Blackbirch, 1993.
Schultz, Ken. Ken Schultz's Field Guide to Freshwater Fish. New York: Wiley, 2004.
Schultz, Ken. Ken Schultz's Field Guide to Saltwater Fish. New York: Wiley, 2004.
"Category: Anchovies and Herrings." All Science Fair Projects. http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/science_fair_projects_encyclopedia/Category:Anchovies_and_herrings (accessed on September 23, 2004).
"FishFAQ." Northeast Fisheries Science Center. http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/faq (accessed on September 23, 2004).
Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesHerrings: Clupeiformes - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Bay Anchovy (anchoa Mitchilli): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HERRINGS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS