Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory



<I>Ammodytoides vagus</I>

Ammodytoides vagus


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CAAB: 37425000



Compiler and date details

20 September 2015 - Dianne J. Bray, Douglass F. Hoese & Alice M. Clement

May 2012 - Douglass F. Hoese & Dianne J. Bray


Seven genera and 33 described species are recognised in the Ammodytidae (Eschmeyer, 2014; Eschmeyer & Fong, 2015). The Australian fauna includes three species in two genera, although the names in use for Bleekeria species are tentative.

Sandlances occur worldwide in temperate regions of the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans, mostly inhabiting shallow coastal waters, although one species occurs on the upper continental slope. They feed in aggregations on zooplankton over open sandy bottoms, diving into the sand when threatened (Randall & Heemstra 2008; Randall & Ida, 2014). They are distinctive in having an elongate body, a protrusible premaxilla, small cycloid scales partly fused to form oblique scale rows, no fin spines, and no pelvic fins in some species. Maximum length is 40 cm.

Duncker & Mohr (1939) first revised the group and Collette (2001) diagnosed the family. Ida (1973) studied osteological features of some species and Pietsch & Zabetian (1990) described the osteology of the group and proposed a relationship to trachinoid fishes. Ida et al. (1994) compared the morphology of members of the group, describing two new genera and two new species, and provided keys to genera and species. Nine new species have been described in the past 10 years. The higher relationships of the family remain unclear (Wiley & Johnson 2010). Thacker et al. (2015) placed the family in the order Uranoscopiformes along with the Cheimarrichthyidae, Uranoscopidae, Leptoscopidae and Pinguipedidae based on moledcular studies.


General References

Collette, B.B. 2001. Ammodytidae. 3518 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Duncker, G. & Mohr, E. 1939. Revision der Ammodytidae. Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum in Berlin 24(1): 8-31

Eschmeyer, W.N. 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Online version updated 19 May 2014.

Eschmeyer, W.N. & Fong, J.D. 7 January 2015. Species by family/subfamily in the Catalog of Fishes.

Ida, H. 1973. Extra ossicles in the oral region on three species of Bleekeria (Ammodytidae). Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 20(2): 67-72

Ida, H., Sirimontaporn, P. & Monkolprasit, S. 1994. Comparative morphology of the fishes of the family Ammodytidae, with a description of two new genera and two new species. Zoological Studies 33(4): 251-277 figs 1-14

Pietsch, T.W. & Zabetian, C.P. 1990. Osteology and interrelationships of the sand lances (Teleostei: Ammodytidae). Copeia 1990(1): 78-100

Randall, J.E.& Heemstra, P.C. 2008. Ammodytoides xanthops, a new species of sandlance (Perciformes: Ammodytidae) from Mozambique. Smithiana, Publications in Aquatic Biodiversity, Bulletin 9: 21-25

Randall, J.E. & Ida, H. 2014. Three new species of sand lances (Perciformes: Ammodytidae) from the southwest Indian Ocean. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 12: 1-11

Thacker, C.E., Takashi P., Satoh, T.P., Katayama, T., Harrington, R.C., Eytan, R.I. & Near, T.J. 2015. Molecular phylogeny of Percomorpha resolves Trichonotus as the sister lineage to Gobioidei (Teleostei: Gobiiformes) and confirms the polyphyly of Trachinoidei. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 93: 172–179

Wiley, E.O. & Johnson, G.D. 2010. A teleost classification based on monophyletic groups. pp. 123-182 in Nelson, J.S., Schultze, H.-P. & Wilson, M.V.H. Origin and Phylogenetic Interrelationships of Teleosts. München, Germany : Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil 480 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
08-Oct-2015 TRACHINOIDEI 20-Sep-2015 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
22-Sep-2011 22-Sep-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)