European anchovy is also known by its second name - hamsa. This species includes several independent forms: Mediterranean, Atlantic, Azov and Black Sea anchovies.
The Black Sea subspecies of anchovies is the most numerous marine fish. A huge number of predators feed on the Black Sea hamsa - beluga, mackerel, bonito, dolphins, as well as petrels and seagulls.
Azov anchovies differ from the Black Sea ones in a lighter color and small size.
The body length of the Azov hamsa does not exceed 11 centimeters, and the average length is about 9 centimeters.
European anchovy habitatEuropean anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus).
Black Sea hamsa lives throughout the Black Sea. In the summer, anchovies disperse throughout the sea, holding onto the upper layers of the water. A large amount of hamsa gathers in the summer in the well-heated water of the northwestern part of the Black Sea coast, where a lot of plankton is found.
In winter, when severe storms occur, and the water surface becomes very cold, anchovies are concentrated in coastal areas at a depth of about 80 meters. At the same time, the fish do not move much and practically do not feed. At this depth, hamsa spends almost the entire cold period, rising only to the surface on warm days. But if the winter is not cold, anchovies generally may not sink to the depths.A flock of anchovies.
In spring - in April, anchovies rise to the surface and begin active nutrition. They eat mainly small crustaceans. First, hamsa keeps on the shores of wintering, and then goes to sea and instantly disperses in the water.
The Azov anchovy lives in the Sea of Azov only in the summer. There, hamsa actively eats, in June-July it breeds, and fry are fed there. With the onset of autumn, the entire Azov subspecies leaves the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait and enters the Black Sea. She swims along the coast of the Crimea and the Caucasus, and spends the winter in the pits, like the Black Sea subspecies. Azov hamsa winters in different areas, but most of it accumulates near Novorossiysk and a little to the south.
European anchovy behaviorEuropean anchovy is called hamsa.
European hamsa breeds throughout the Black Sea. The spawning period lasts throughout the entire warm season (May-September). At the same time, anchovies spawn most intensively in those areas where a large amount of plankton is found.European anchovy - fish for fishing.
One female lays about 20-25 thousand eggs. Females spawn two to four times in portions. Anchovies have a very short life cycle. These fish live a maximum of 4 years. In the early years, hamsa grows rapidly and reaches about 11 centimeters in length by the end of the second year. Then the growth process slows down, so the maximum length of the body of anchovies does not exceed 13 centimeters, only rare individuals grow to 15 centimeters. Mostly two to three year old spawn. Only not more than 1% among spawning hamsa are four-year-old individuals.
European anchovy habitatThe "cloud" of European anchovies is capable of seeming to confuse even a shark.
European hamsa lives on the Atlantic coast of Europe, in the Black and Azov seas, as well as in the waters of North Africa.