Indian anchovy

  (Redirected from Stolephorus indicus)

The Indian anchovy (Stolephorus indicus), also known as Hardenberg's anchovy, is a species of oceanodromous ray-finned fish in the family Engraulidae. It is known as handalla (හැදැල්ලා) in Sri Lanka, where it is widely sold at most markets and supermarkets. It is widely used as a live or dead bait in tuna fishery.

Indian anchovy
Stolephorus indicus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Engraulidae
Genus: Stolephorus
S. indicus
Binomial name
Stolephorus indicus
(van Hasselt, 1823)
  • Engraulis indicus van Hasselt, 1823
  • Anchoviella indica (van Hasselt, 1823)
  • Anchoviella indicus (van Hasselt, 1823)
  • Engraulis indica van Hasselt, 1823
  • Engraulis russellii Bleeker, 1821
  • Engraulis albus Swainson, 1839
  • Engraulis balinensis Bleeker, 1849
  • Engraulis samaminan Montrouzier, 1857
  • Anchoviella scitula Fowler, 1911
  • Stolephorus extensus Jordan & Seale, 1926
  • Stolephorus insularum Jordan & Seale, 1926
  • Stolephorus indicus nanus Hardenberg, 1933
  • Engraulis brownii (non Gmelin, 1789) misapplied
  • Engraulis carpenteriae (non De Vis, 1882) misapplied
  • Stolephorus insularis (non Hardenberg, 1933) misapplied

It is called Kapsali in Konkani in Goa.

It is called Verli in konkani in Goa

Stolephorus indicus (larger specimens) with commerson's anchovy (smaller specimens) in a lab


It is a small schooling fish found in depth of 20-50m in most of the tropical areas of the Indo-pacific oceans including Madagascar and Mauritius eastward and towards Australia and further east to Samoa in westwards. Maximum length do not exceed 15.5 cm. It has 15 to 17 dorsal soft rays and 18 to 21 anal soft rays. There are 2 to 6 small needle-like scutes on the belly region. Maxilla tip is pointed, reaching front border of pre-operculum. Body is a typical engraulid form with light transparent fleshy brown, and silver stripe down flank. Indian anchovy usually feeds on planktons.[1]


This fish is part of the cuisine of the Indian and Southeast Asian marine regions. It can be crisp-fried, used to make fish-based culinary products like fish sauce or in curries.[2] 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.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Stolephorus indicus summary page". FishBase.
  2. ^ "indian anchovy curry – Kerala Recipes".