Stolephorus commersonnii

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Commerson's anchovy
Stolephorus indicus (larger specimens) with commerson's anchovy (smaller specimens) in a lab.jpg
Stolephorus indicus (larger specimens) with commerson's anchovy (smaller specimens)
Scientific classification
S. commersonnii
Binomial name
Stolephorus commersonnii
  • Anchovia commersoniana (Lacepède, 1803)
  • Anchoviella commersonii (Lacepède, 1803)
  • Stolephorus commerrianus Lacepède, 1803
  • Stolephorus commerson Lacepède, 1803
  • Stolephorus commersoni Lacepède, 1803
  • Stolephorus commersonianus Lacepède, 1803
  • Stolephorus commersonii Lacepède, 1803
  • Clupea tuberculosa Lacepède, 1803
  • Stolephorus rex Jordan & Seale, 1926
  • Anchoviella indica (non Hasselt, 1823) misapplied
  • Stolephorus indicus (non Hasselt, 1823) misapplied
  • Anchoviella holodon (non Boulenger, 1900) misapplied
  • Stolephorus holodon (non Boulenger, 1900) misapplied

The Commerson's anchovy (Stolephorus commersonnii), also known as Devis's anchovy, long-jawed anchovy, Teri anchovy, is a species of anadromous fish in the Engraulidae family. It is known as Haalmassa in Sri Lanka, where it is widely used as a nutrient rich fish meat. It is widely used as a live or dead bait in tuna fishery.


It is a small schooling fish found in depth of 0-50m in most of the tropical areas of the Indo-pacific oceans including Madagascar and Mauritius eastward and towards Hong Kong and further east to Papua New Guinea in westwards. Maximum length do not exceed 10 cm. It has no dorsal soft rays and possess only 18 to 19 anal soft rays. There are 0 to 5 small needle-like scutes on the belly region. Belly is slightly rounded. Body color is same as other engraulids, where body is light transparent fleshy brown with a pair of dark patches behind occiput, followed by a pair of lines to dorsal fin origin. The silver stripe present on flanks. Indian anchovy usually feeds on surface planktons. Female lay oval eggs grassy sea beds.[1]

This fish with much larger Indian anchovy, is part of the cuisine of the South- and Southeast Asian marine regions.[2] It can be crisp-fried, used to make fish-based culinary products like fish sauce or in curries. In Sri Lanka, this variety of fish is made into a tasty snack by dipping in a batter of flour, then rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried in oil. It is also popular as a ‘white curry’, i.e.a curry made with coconut milk. A spicier variant is made with dry chilli gravy and served with scraped fresh coconut to offset the hotness of the gravy.[3]

Vernacular names[edit]

Commerson's anchovy is known as:

  • Haalmassa (හාල්මැස්සා) in Sinhala
  • Netthallu (నెత్తళ్ళు) in Telugu[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Purnachand, GV. "చేపా! చేపా! నీ పేరే౦టి?". Dr. GV Purnachand's Blog. GV Purnachand. Retrieved 21 October 2018.