10 20 40 60 cm

mittakaava < 40 cm

Lesser sandeel and Greater sandeel
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Gösta Sundman: Suomen Kalat (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Lauri Urho

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Greater sandeel

Hyperoplus lanceolatus

  • Family: Sand lances – Ammodytidae
  • Similar species: lesser sandeel
  • Size: 20–30 cm.
  • Appearance: With its elongated body and protruding lower jaw, the greater sandeel can only be confused with its cousin the lesser sandeel, which, as its name suggests, is smaller. Individuals longer than 20 cm are almost certainly greater sandeels. Smaller individuals can be distinguished by the mouth: unlike the lesser sandeel, the upper jaw of the greater sandeel is not tube-like when opened. In the greater sandeel the tip of the pectoral fin does not extend to the leading edge of the dorsal fin.
  • Colouring: Back bluish green, sides silvery.
  • Reproduction: Eggs laid in July on sandy bottoms at a depth of 10–20 m.
  • Food: Plankton and small fish.
  • Distribution and habitat: Inhabits Finland’s seas, except the northernmost Gulf of Bothnia. Abundant around the Åland Islands as far as the Finnish mainland and western parts of the Gulf of Finland, seldom further north. Favours sandy bottoms, into which it can burrow. Usually emerges from its hiding place in the evenings. Sometimes free-swimming during daylight hours, either singly or in small shoals.
Other species from the same family

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