Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Clupeiformes (Herrings)
Family: Engraulidae (Anchovies)
Genus: Setipinna
Species: S.  taty

Distribution: East coast of India, the Andaman Islands’ Srilanka and the East Indies. (Talwar and Jhingran, 2001). Orissa, Bengal, Cachar and Burma (Day, 1958).

Common/local names
English: Scaly hair fin anchovy
Bangladesh: Phansa (ফ্যানসা), Teli phasa (তেলি ফ্যাসা) and Fewa (ফেওয়া)
India: Phansa (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Engraulis taty Valenciennes, 1848
Engraulis telaroides Bleeker, 1849
Setipinna lighti
Wu, 1929
Stolephorus taty (Valenciennes, 1848)

Conservation status: Not threatened in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body oblong and deeply compressed. Dorsal and abdominal profiles evenly convex.  Belly sharply keeled. Eyes sub-cutaneous. Mouth slighty oblique, maxilla dialated at mandibular joint and reaches angle of preopercle, its tip just reaches gill opening. 14-15 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) or 18-21 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991) number of gill raker present, gill raker serrae forming distinct clumps. Teeth in a single row in jaws, a few villiform ones on vomer, numerous on palate and pterygoid. Pectoral filament long, reaching to base of 23rd to last anal finray. Caudal fin forked, its lower lobe longer. Base of dorsal almost entirely in advance of origin of anal. Dorsal commences midway between tip of snout and caudal base. Pectoral reaches pelvics. Caudal forked, lower lobe longer. 42 scales on median lateral series (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Body color silvery, steel-blue along the back. Dorsal and caudal fins yellowish, the flanks and belly silvery, fins hyaline.

Fin formula:
D. 1+2/10-12; PI. 1/11-12; P2. 1/6; A. 54-57 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D i 15-16; A iii 45-55; P i 12-14; V i 6 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)
D. 1+14-16; P. 15; V. 7; A. 51-60; C. 19 (Shafi and Quddus, 2001)

Maximum lengths: 15.3 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 15 cm (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). 13.5 cm standard length reported by Talwar and Jhingran (1991).

Habitats: Found mostly in estuaries. During rainy season abundantly found in large rivers and mostly in turbid water than clean water, move in shoal (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Found in estuarine and tidal revers of Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989). Inhibits sea, estuaries and freshwater (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Fishery information: It is an important food fish and major item in artisanal catches in the Hoogly estuary (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).



Bleeker, P. 1849. Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van het eiland Madura, met beschrijving van eenige neiuwe soorten. Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen. v. 22: 1-16.

Cuvier G and Valenciennes A.  1848. Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome vingt et unième. Suite du livre vingt et unième et des Clupéoïdes. Livre vingt-deuxième. De la famille des Salmonoïdes. Histoire naturelle des poissons. v. 21: i-xiv + 1 p. + 1-536, Pls. 607-633.

Day, F. 1958. The Fishes of India: being a Natural History of the fishes known to inhabit the seas and freshwater of India., Burma and Ceylon. Reproduced in 1958 by William Dowson and Sons, London. p. 627.

Rahman AKA. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 243-244.

Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 267-268.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA. 2001. Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 49-50.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG. 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 1, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 134-135.

Wu H-W. 1929. Study of the fishes of Amoy. Part 1. Contributions from the Biological Laboratory of the Science Society of China. (Zoological Series) v. 5 (no. 4): i-vi + 1-90.


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Scaly hairfin anchovy, Setipinna taty Valenciennes, 1848

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S.M. Abu Naser

MS Student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. Email:; More...

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