Image Keith Hiscock - The lancet Branchiostoma lanceolatum (aquarium photograph). Image width ca 6 cm.
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Branchiostoma lanceolatum is not listed under any importance categories.
|Phylum||Chordata||Sea squirts, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals|
|Recent synonyms||Amphioxus lanceolatus, Amphioxus lanceolatum|
|Recorded Distribution in Britain and Ireland||It has a south-western distribution and is mainly found off the south-west coasts of Britain as far north as Anglesea and the south-east coasts of Ireland. Two sightings has also placed it off the coasts of East Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.|
|Habitat information||The lancelet inhabits the sandy sublittoral zone at depths down to 30 m. It prefers sand mixed with shells rather than more muddy bottoms as it is not suited to penetrate ground with small particles.|
|Description||The lancelet Branchiostoma lanceolatum is a member of the cephalocordata and does not have a spinal column. Its body is spindle-shaped and pointed at both ends.The body is segmented and flattened dorsoventrally. It grows up to 8 cm in length. It is a semi-transparent pink in colour. There is a membranous flipper along the dorsal side. The tail end has a lance-like flipper. The head is a mere continuation of the body. Multiple cirri project from the mouth.|
|Additional information||Although cephalochordates are able to swim, most of their time is spent partially buried in the sand filtering microscopic food particles from the water (Riisgård & Svane, 1999).|
This review can be cited as follows:
Morvan Barnes 2008. Branchiostoma lanceolatum. Lancelet. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 20/05/2013]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/speciesinformation.php?speciesID=4815>