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Species: Microdesmus lanceolatus, Lancetail Wormfish

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spots: 2 between pelvics, 6 on D base, many on A base
between eyes = eye
D XII, 56, origin before pectoral tip
A 55
D & A join pointed C
gill opening large, not tubular
pectoral 13
scales: few, well separated

Microdesmus lanceolatus Dawson, 1962

Lancetail Wormfish

Slender, wormlike, body height ~6.6% of SL; snout moderately blunt; small, conspicuous eyes on side of head; interorbital equal to eye diameter; front nostril a widely flared tube; rear nostril a raised pore; mouth strongly oblique, lower jaw heavy, protruding, strongly rounded; upper jaw extends to middle of eye; tongue rounded; teeth in 2 rows, conical and in irregular series; gill opening large (not tubular); one, long based continuous dorsal fin, XII, 56, fin originates before tip of a depressed pectoral fin; anal fin 0, 55 rays; dorsal and anal fins connected to tail fin; pectoral fin 13; pelvic fins minute, I, 3 rays, rays unbranched; tail fin pointed; body with a few minute, embedded, well separated scales; head without scales; no lateral line.

Pale straw; fins translucent; 2 prominent spots between the pelvic fins; 6 spots along rear of body at base of dorsal fin; small spots along anal fin from rays 5 to 54.

Reaches: 6.0 cm.

Habitat: Burrows in soft muddy and sandy bottoms in shallow waters.

Depth: 5-37 m?

The NW Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 6
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 37