Main identification features
- very elongate
- 1 d: simple, low, very long base
- tail fin forked
- no teeth
- no pelvics
- scales tiny, smooth, in oblique rows
The sand lances are small (to about 25-30 cm), elongate fishes that are found along sandy shores. They are adapted for burrowing in the soft substratum. Other features include an absence of pelvic fins (except in Embolichthys), absence of teeth, a projecting lower jaw lateral line placed very high on the sides (just below dorsal fin base), a single very long-based, but low dorsal fin, a forked tail, and minute smooth scales arrange in oblique rows.
The family contains five genera with approximately 18 species. They inhabit both cold and warm circumglobal seas. A single species is recorded from and endemic to the tropical eastern Pacific.
- Bean, T.H., 1895., Description of a new species of fish, Bleekeria gilli., Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., 17:629-630.
- Collette , B. B. and Robertson, D. R., 2001., Redescription of Ammodytoides gilli, the tropical eastern Pacific sand lance (Perciformes: Ammodytidae)., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 49(Supplement 1):111-115.
- Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo . Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
- Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
- Nelson, J.S., 1984., Fishes of the World (Third edition)., John Wiley and Sons:523pp.
I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.
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