Bahama lancelet

Epigonichthys lucayanus

ORDER

Amphioxiformes FAMILY

Branchiostomatidae TAXONOMY

Epigonichthys lucayanus Andrews, 1893, Alice Town, North Bimini, Bahamas.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

(Listed names were originally coined for the European species Branchiostoma lanceolatum. Because of the morphological uniformity of cephalochordates they are usually used for all species.) English: Amphioxus, lancelet; French: Amphioxus, lancelet; German: Amphioxus, Lanzettfischchen; Spanish: Anfioxo, pez lanceta, lanceta.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Gonads on right side of body only. Sixty (55-62) myotomes: 37 (35-52) preatriopore, 16 (13-18) atriopore to anus, 8 (6-9) postanal. Three hundred seven (167-484) dorsal fin chambers. Reaches up to 0.83 in (21 mm) in total length.

DISTRIBUTION

Tropical and subtropical regions of Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

HABITAT

Coral sands to mud flats, from 0-65.61 ft (0-20 m) in depth (up to 3,001.97 ft [915 m] for larvae).

BEHAVIOR

Probably same as for family. FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Semi-sessile filter feeder. Feeds on plankton organisms, especially diatoms and coccolithophorids.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Probably same as for family.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not considered threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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