Body slender, round in cross-section, becoming slightly compressed in the belly. Pointed snout with upper jaw much longer than lower jaw. 2-6 (usually 3-5) pre-pelvic scutes. A single dorsal fin at the middle of the body. Anal fin origin slightly behind dorsal fin origin. Forked caudal fin. Small pectoral fin, originated at the vertical line of posterior edge of the operculum. Origin of pelvic fin in front of dorsal fin.
color : Body light grey to almost transparent with a clear silver stripe on the flank.
size : Common 7-12 cm (max. 15 cm)
Engraulis encrasicolus – no scutes on the belly.
Encrasicolina gloria- Ismuth muscle not reaching forward to gill membrane.
Stolephorus insularis- 4-8 (usually 6-7) needle-like scutes on the belly, head length 3.7-4.1 times in SL.
BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Inshore-pelagic schooling species. Feeding on zooplankton. Reaching sexual maturity at 9 cm. Oval eggs with small knob at one pole.
habitat : Coastal species that enters estuaries.