Commerson's Anchovy, Stolephorus commersonnii Lacépède 1803

Commerson's Anchovy, Stolephorus commersonii. Source: John E. Randall / FishBase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale translucent fleshy brown, with a silvery midlateral stripe, two pigmented areas on the back behind the head, and a double pigmented line before the dorsal-fin origin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Stolephorus commersonnii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Commerson's Anchovy, Stolephorus commersonnii Lacépède 1803

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Tubridgi Creek, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Gladstone, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.
The species is pelagic in coastal marine and estuarine waters.


Gill rakers, lower arch 23-28; 0–5 (mostly 2–3) small needle-like scutes between pectoral and pelvic-fin bases
Posterior border of preopercle convex, rounded; tip of maxilla pointed, reaching posteriorly to or slightly beyond posterior border of preopercle; pelvic-fin tips reaching beyond dorsal-fin origin; post pelvic scutes absent.

Species Citation

Stolephorus commersonii Lacépède 1803, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons Vol. 5: 381, pl. 12(1). Type locality: Mauritius.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Commerson's Anchovy, Stolephorus commersonnii Lacépède 1803


Blaber, S.J.M., Young, J.W. & Dunning, M.C. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 247-266.

Hata, H., Lavoué, S. & Motomura, H. 2021. Taxonomic status of nominal species of the anchovy genus Stolephorus previously regarded as synonyms of Stolephorus commersonnii Lacepède 1803 and Stolephorus indicus (van Hasselt 1823), and descriptions of three new species (Clupeiformes: Engraulidae). Ichthyological Research 68: 327–372.

Lacépède, B.G. 1803. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : chez Plassan Vol. 5 803 pp. 21 pls.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

Munroe, T.A. 2018. Stolephorus commersonnii (errata version published in 2019). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T75155918A143836308. Downloaded on 10 November 2021.

Whitehead, P.J.P., Nelson, G.J. & Wongratana, T. 1988. FAO Species Catalogue. Clupeoid fishes of the world (Suborder Clupeoidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, anchovies and wolf-herrings. Engraulididae. FAO Fisheries Synopsis. No. 125 Vol. 7 Pt 2. 305-579 pp.

Wongratana, T., Munroe, T.A. & Nizinski, M.S. 1999. Family Engraulidae. pp. 1698-1753 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37086013

Depth:0-50 m

Habitat:Coastal, pelagic

Max Size:12 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map