Bleekeria estuaria Randall & Ida, 2014
photo by Connell, A.

Family:  Ammodytidae (Sand lances)
Max. size:  6.3 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 5 m
Distribution:  Western Indian Ocean: Mozambique.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal soft rays (total): 42-42; Anal soft rays: 15-15; Vertebrae: 53-53. This species is distinguished from its congeners by the following characters: D 42; A 15; pectoral-fin rays 14, the fins 5.7 in SL (longest among species in this genus); no pelvic fins; 99 lateral-line scales; scales weakly ctenoid; a single scale dorsally on opercle; without gap in subocular sensory canal; 53 vertebrae; body depth 9.5 in SL; head short, head length 4.9 in SL; moderately large eye, 4.3 in HL; oblique mouth moderately large, the upper-jaw length 3.35 in HL; strongly projecting lower jaw, tip narrowly rounded; small slender teeth on side of upper jaw 22, 2 or 3 anteriorly on side of lower jaw; colour when fresh light olive-gray, with scale edges narrowly blackish dorsally on body, progressively less ventrally, the abdomen silvery white with a broad dorsal iridescent blue zone containing a central dusky reddish area, the operculum and isthmus are silvery and blue, a large orange-yellow area before pectoral fin, the snout dusky olive, caudal fin gray with a narrow blackish posterior margin, the rays with blackish edges and pectoral fins whitish; colour when preserved yellowish brown, scales dorsally on body to and including those of lateral-line scales very finely stippled with black, scales below lateral line with progressively less dark pigment, operculum with silvery patches, the fin rays pale yellowish, with anterior edge of dorsal rays finely dotted with black, and fin membranes are translucent. It differs from its congeners by having the shortest head, 4.9 in SL (shortest head for other species is 4.75 in SL, B. murtii<>/i); the longest pectoral fins, 5.7 in SL (longest for other species is 7.35 in SL, B. kallolepis); and by 3/17 transverse scales (others with more than 4/19 transverse scales) (Ref. 97535).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 10.06.15

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