Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Ammodytoides gilli, Gill's sand-lance, Panamic sand lance, Silver sand-lance

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

very elongate
long, pointed snout
fins without spines
1D, low, 40-69
C forked
lower jaw projects
no teeth
no pelvics



Ammodytoides gilli (Bean, 1895)

Panamic sand lance, Silver sand-lance, Gill's sand-lance

Body very elongate, moderately compressed, tapering at both ends; depth of tail base < ¼ head length; head pointed; eye large; mouth small, oblique, opens at front; top jaw protractile; a projecting lower jaw; no teeth; a single very long-based, but low dorsal fin, 46-47 rays; anal fin rays 22-24; dorsal and anal fins without spines; pectorals low on side, 14-15; no pelvic fins; tail forked; sensory canal under eye discontinuous; lateral line very high on the sides (just below dorsal fin base), ends high on tail base, ~ 90 pores; scales minute, smooth, arranged in oblique rows.

Mainly translucent whitish in color, fins transparent; large individuals with upper 2/3 of head and nape yellowish, 4 small, elongate black spots along outer margin of front half of dorsal fin.

Size: grows to about 13.5 cm.

Inhabits sandy bottoms, some-times near shallow rocky reefs.

Depth: 1-25 m.

Cape San Lucas (Baja) and central Mexico to Ecuador and the Galapagos.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Planktivore
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • No Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 13.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 25