Ammodytidae(redirected from sand lance)
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a family of fishes of the order Perciformes. The elongated body, which reaches 36 cm in length, is somewhat laterally compressed and has numerous oblique folds that make it easier for the animal to burrow in the sand. The lower jaw is protruding. There are no pelvic fins, and the unpaired fins have no spiny rays. There are three genera, distributed in the northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and along the coasts of southern Africa. Representatives of all three genera are encountered in the waters of the USSR. The Pacific sand Iaunce (Ammodytes hexapterus) is commonly found in the Barents Sea and in the seas of the Far East. Gymnammodytes cicerellus dwells in the Black Sea, and Hyperoplus lanceolatus and Ammodytes tobianus are sometimes encountered in the Gulf of Finland and the Barents Sea. The fishes live in schools near the coast, usually inhabiting the sandy bottom. When in danger and at night, the fishes bury themselves in the sand. The fishes feed on planktonic crustaceans and fish fry. They deposit several thousands of small eggs, which adhere to the sand.
A. P. ANDREIASHEV and A. V. NEELOV