Recent events in the Black Sea have had a severe impact on all compartments of the ecosystem, including ichthyoplankton. The distribution of eggs and larvae of the anchovy, the major commercial fish species, was investigated in relation to ambient conditions in the southern Black Sea during July 1992, August 1993, and June-July 1996. Average highest egg and larva numbers were observed in June-July 1996, Ichthyoplankton distribution was closely connected with the hydrography. Besides surface temperature and salinity, among the numerous biotic parameters tested, abundance of fodder zooplankton and of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi showed significant correlations with the distribution of either eggs or larvae of the anchovy. The results help in explaining the shift observed in the spawning grounds. (C) 1999 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.