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Anchovies


Anchovies are the members of the Engraulidae family. They are small or moderate-sized fish, typically below 20 cm. They are recognized by their usually prominent pig-like snout projecting beyond tip of lower jaw and their lower jaw almost always long, slender and underslung. Most Indo-Pacific species have prepelvic and often postpelvic scutes.

Anchovies are found in all seas from about 60°N to 50°S. They are typically marine fishes but can also be found in brackish and freshwater. Most of them inhabit shallow coastal waters and estuaries. They frequently occur in large schools. Most species feed on small planktonic animals either by locating individual prey or by filter-feeding.

There are 17 genera and about 145 species of Engraulidae worldwide. Malaysia has about 6 genera and about 32 species.

In Malaysia and Singapore, the smaller species of the family collectively known as ikan bilis in Malay and 江鱼仔 in Chinese are often sold dried.



Scientific Name: Setipinna breviceps  (Cantor, 1849)
English Name: Shorthead Hairfin Anchovy
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kasai Janggut, Ikan Kucing, Bersia, Biang-biang, Jelebat, Empirang, Empurung, Mempurong, Empirang Kepala Pendek
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Teri, Biang-biang
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาแมว (Plā mæw)
Main Identification Features: Body compressed, head very short. A small spine-like scute just anterior to dorsal-fin origin. Mouth strongly oblique, lower jaw projecting beyond the tip of the snout. Pectoral fins filament long, ended at about or after mid-part of anal fin base.
Size: Maximum standard length 24 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal pelagic and estuarine, to 50 m depth.






Scientific Name: Setipinna taty  (Valenciennes, 1848)
English Name: Scaly Hairfin Anchovy
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kasai Janggut, Ikan Kucing, Bersia, Biang, Jelebat, Empirang, Empurung, Mempurong, Empirang Kasai
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Teri, Galeberan
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาแมว (Plā mæw)
Main Identification Features: Body strongly compressed, abdomen with complete series of keeled scutes from isthmus to anus. A spine-like scute anterior to dorsal-fin origin. Mouth nearly horizontal. Pectoral fins with first fin ray produced as a long filament. Upper lobe of caudal fin shorter than lower lobe. Keeled scutes on abdomen 32 to 40.
Size: Maximum standard length 14 cm, commonly to about 10 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Mainly coastal marine waters, to 50 m depth, but also entering estuaries. Pelagic and schooling species.






Scientific Name: Stolephorus commersonnii  Lacepède, 1803
English Name: Commerson's Anchovy
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 江鱼仔 (Jiāng yú zǐ), 孔氏小公鱼 (Kǒng shì xiǎo gōng yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bilis, Pusu, Besin, Bunga Air, Bilis Tembaga
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Teri, Bilis, Ake Lae
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากะตักควาย (Plā katạk khwāy)
Hokkien: Kang Hu Kia
Main Identification Features: Body light transparent fleshy brown, with a silver stripe down flank. Maxilla comparatively long, tip reaching to slightly beyond posterior border of preopercle. A pair of dark patches posterior to occiput, followed by a pair of dark lines on dorsum to dorsal-fin origin.
Size: Maximum standard length 10 cm, commonly about 8.5 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal, pelagic, and schooling species.






Scientific Name: Stolephorus indicus  (van Hasselt, 1823)
English Name: Indian Anchovy
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 江鱼仔 (Jiāng yú zǐ), 印度侧带小公鱼 (Yìndù cè dài xiǎo gōng yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bilis, Pusu, Bilis Paku, Bilis Bunga Air
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Teri Pinggir
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาไส้ตันใหญ่ (Plā saitạn yai)
Hokkien: Kang Hu Kia
Main Identification Features: Body slender, elongate, nearly round in cross-section, light transparent fleshy brown, with silver stripe down flank. Upper head stippled dark brown but no dark pigment lines on back between head and dorsal fin. Bases of dorsal and anal fins with faintly pigmented melanophores.
Size: Maximum standard length 15.3 cm, commonly around 11 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal, pelagic, and schooling species.






Scientific Name: Stolephorus tri  (Bleeker, 1852)
English Name: Spined Anchovy
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 江鱼仔 (Jiāng yú zǐ), 印尼小公鱼 (Yìnní xiǎo gōng yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Bilis, Balinau, Besin, Bilis Pasu, Bilis Teri, Bilis Pusu
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Teri
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากะตักหลังลาย (Plā katạk h̄lạng), ปลากะตักตัวแบน (Plā katạk tạw bæn), ปลาไส้ตัน (Plā saitạn), ปลามะลิ (Plā mali)
Hokkien: Kang Hu Kia
Main Identification Features: A small spine present just before dorsal fin and another spine on the pelvic scute. Belly with 6 or 7 small needle-like pre-pelvic scutes. Maxilla pointed, reaching to or beyond hind border of preoperculum. Preoperculum rounded. Body yellowish and thick silvery lateral line, yellow and black line at caudal fin.
Size: Maximum total length 12 cm, commonly 9 to 10 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Schooling species in coastal waters, to 50 m depth. Feeds on plankton organisms, especially zooplankton.






Scientific Name: Thryssa dussumieri  (Valenciennes, 1848)
English Name: Dussumier's Thryssa, Moustached Thryssa
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kasai Daun, Bakok Daun, Bokok Daun, Bakok Minyak, Kasai Minyak
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Teri, Bilis
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาแมว (Plā mæw)
Main Identification Features: Body compressed, abdomen with 21 to 24 keeled scutes from isthmus to anus. Maxilla very long, reaching posteriorly to a point at least halfway along length of pectoral fin. A dark blotch behind upper part of gill opening, sometimes joined to dark saddle on nape.
Size: Maximum standard length 11 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Shallow coastal, pelagic, and schooling species. Feeds on diatoms when young and prawn larvae, copepods, and cypris when larger.






Scientific Name: Thryssa hamiltonii  Gray, 1835
English Name: Hamilton's Thryssa
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kasai Minyak, Bakok Minyak, Bakok Daun, Besin, Gemedi, Jemedi, Kasi-kasi, Mempinis, Puput, Pusu
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาแมว (Plā mæw), ปลาป้อปี้ (Plā p̂o pī̂)
Main Identification Features: Body compressed. Tip of snout above the level of eye center, usually about level of upper rim of eye. Maxilla short or moderate, projects slightly beyond gill opening. Anal fin long. Body silvery white, grayish brown above. A dark blotch exist just near the gill opening. Snout with yellowish and dark spot.
Size: Maximum standard length 27.0 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal pelagic, to 13 m depth.






Scientific Name: Thryssa kammalensis  (Bleeker, 1849)
English Name: Kammal Thryssa
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kasai Ekor Merah, Bakok Daun, Bokok Daun, Bakok Minyak, Kasai Minyak
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Teri, Bilis
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาแมวหัวแหลม (Plā mæw hwalem)
Main Identification Features: Belly with 23 to 26 keeled scutes from isthmus to anus. Maxilla moderate, reaching just to gill opening or a little beyond in large fishes. First supra-maxilla about half of second. A diffuse dark saddle like blotch on nape. Upper and lower caudal fin reddish.
Size: Maximum standard length 15.0 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal pelagic and estuarine, from 1 to 20 m depth.