The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Anchoa compressa
Anchoa compressa
(Deepbody Anchovy)
Marine Fishes

Copyright Info
Anchoa compressa (Girard, 1858)

Common name: Deepbody Anchovy

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: No dorsal or anal spines.  Anal soft-rays: 27-34.  Moderately deep-bodied.  Snout pointed, about 1/2 to 3/4 eye diameter; maxilla moderate, tip rather blunt, not reaching to hind border of pre-operculum.  Anal fin origin a little before midpoint of dorsal fin base.  A bright silver stripe along flank, often as wide as eye, not fading on preservation.

Size: 13.3 cm SL

Native Range: From Point Conception, California, to southern Baja California (Mundy 2005).

Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: In 1932, 6,000 individuals were transported via a tuna clipper from California to Kane'ohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii (Macioleck 1984, Randall 1987).  The species failed to establish in Hawaii (Mundy 2005). 

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Anchoa compressa are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†

Table last updated 5/16/2022

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Common in bays and inlets in California.  The species is a filter-feeder.

Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked as a forage fish.

Status: Failed in Hawaii (Randall 1987; Mundy 2005).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Maciolek, J. A.  1984.  Exotic Fishes in Hawaii and Other Islands of Oceania. Pages 131-161 in: W.R. Courtaney, Jr. and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. (eds). Distribution, Biology, and Management of Exotic Fishes.

Mundy, B. C.  2005.  Fishes of the Hawaiian Archipelago.  Bishop Museum Bulletins in Biology, Number 6. 

Randall, J. E.  1987.  Introductions of marine fishes to the Hawaiian islands.  Bulletin of Marine Science 41: 490-502.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Schofield, P.J., and Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 7/31/2019

Peer Review Date: 2/2/2006

Citation Information:
Schofield, P.J., and Fuller, P., 2022, Anchoa compressa (Girard, 1858): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=669, Revision Date: 7/31/2019, Peer Review Date: 2/2/2006, Access Date: 5/16/2022

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2022]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [5/16/2022].

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