Zoological Illustrations/VolI-Pl63

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Zoological Illustrations Volume I Plate 63.jpg



Generic Character.

Corpus gracile, teretiusculum, polyedrum, elongatum, squamis vix conspicuis. Labium superius duplicatum; mandibula inferior angusta, acuminata. Membrana branchiostega septem-radiata. Pinna dorsalis corpore penè æqualis, radiis simplicibus flexilibus.

Typus Genericus Ammodytes Tobianus. Linn.

Body slender, roundish, many-sided, with minute scales. Upper lip doubled; lower jaw narrow pointed. Gill membrane seven-rayed. Dorsal fin nearly as long as the body, with simple flexible rays.

Generic Type Sand-Lance. Pennant.

Obs. The Ammodytes cicerelus of my friend Professor Rafinesque must be different from A. siculus


Sicilian Sand-Lance.

A. pinnâ dorsali sinuatâ, in medio angustatâ, pone anum altiore.
Dorsal fin sinuated, narrowed in the middle and broadest behind.

Of this genus, hitherto considered as possessing only a unique example, we were fortunate in discovering while in Sicily the new species now figured, and which early in the year visit the coasts near Palermo and Messina in prodigious quantities. There is no striking difference between this and A. Tobianus, excepting the extraordinary shape of the dorsal fin, which is invariably undulated and narrowed in the middle. It never grows to a size exceeding the figure, and is usually much less; while the British species is often found double the length. Like that, also, A. Siculus has the lateral line running close to the dorsal fin; for the fine line in the middle of the side, as Lacepede has well observed, is that only which connects the muscles. That author likewise mentions, that the jaws in A. Tobianus have minute teeth, but these I could never discover. The rays of the fins are, pect. 16; dorsal 56; anal 30.


Common Sand-Lance—upper figure.

A. pinnâ dorsali lineari, æquali.
Dorsal fin linear, equal.
Linn. Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 1145. Pennant iv. pl. 28. Bloch, pl. 73. 2.
Lacepede, ii. 275. Klein Hist. Pisc. fasc. iv. tab. 12. f. 10.

This, though a very common fish, has been figured by all authors as if the rays were spined and naked at their extremity; they are, on the contrary, soft and connected.

It abounds at certain times on many parts of our coasts. The number of rays stand thus: Pectoral 12; dorsal 51; anal 27.