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Engraulis Cuvier, 1816

Diagnosis: body elongate, slender, oval, belly rounded and not keeled with scutes. Snout prominent and pointed, projecting well in front of tip of lower jaw, mouth inferior; upper jaw long, reaching well back behind eye. Dorsal and anal fins short, the latter behind dorsal fin base. Scales very easily shed. Colour: back clear green or blue/green, quickly fading to fleshy grey, flanks with a silver stripe, edged above by a dark line, belly pale; caudal fin with a dark hind margin. Size: to 20 cm, usually 12-15 cm.

Habitat: coastal pelagic, euryhaline (5-41ppt salinity), even entering lagoons, lakes or estuaries, in winter descending to 150 m in Mediterranean (or down to 400 m off West Africa), forming large shoals, migratory. Food: planktonic organisms, chiefly calanoid, copepod, cirrepede and mollusc larvae. Reproduction: in northern Europe rather prolonged, from April to August (and throughout October on Biscay coast), May to October, with maximum in July to September (Adriatic); eggs pelagic, ovoid and not spherical.

Distribution: Atlantic coasts northwards to southern North Sea and coasts of the British Isles; also Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

Species perhaps 3; in Clofnam area 1.

Genus Engraulis