Gape large; maxillaries long; the pedicels of the intermaxillaries very short: dorsal commencing in a line with the extremities of the pectorals.

A. Tobianus, Bloch, Ichth. pl. 75. f. 2. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 87. Cuv. Reg. An. torn. 11. p. 360. A. lanceolatus, Lesauv. in Bull, des Sci. Nat. (1825). torn. iv. p. 262. A. Anglorum verus, Jago in Rays Syn. Pise. p. 165. pl. 2. f. 12. Sand Launce, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 156. but not pl. 25. no. 66. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 206. but not pl. 28.

Length

From ten to fifteen inches and a half.

Description

{Form). Slender, and very much elongated: body square, but with the angles somewhat rounded, approaching cylindrical, and of nearly equal thickness throughout: greatest depth contained about sixteen times in the entire length: head an elongated cone, forming one-fifth of the same: lower jaw projecting far beyond the upper, and terminating in a point; the upper one slightly rounded at its extremity: scarcely any perceptible teeth, excepting two long sharp teeth on the front of the vomer directed downwards: gape very wide on account of the great length of the maxillaries; intermaxillaries (compared with those of the next species) with the pedicels very short: when the mouth is fully opened, the upper jaw turns up at its extremity, and the maxillaries become vertical, drawing after them the sides of the lower jaw, which, ascending from behind, become vertical also, and parallel to the former: gill-opening very large: pieces of the opercle all considerably developed, but especially the subopercle, which is produced beyond the true opercle in the form of a projecting lobe, having its descending margin sinuated, and its surface elegantly marked with several diverging striae; true opercle forming an equilateral triangle: head naked; body covered with minute scales: lateral line arising on each side of the nape, and running parallel with the dorsal fin a very little below it; marked by a series of oblong slightly elevated tubercles: along the middle of each side a second impressed line formed by the division of the muscles: dorsal commencing at about, or a little beyond, one-fourth of the entire length, exactly in a line with the extremities of the pectorals, and terminating a little before the caudal; height tolerably uniform throughout, equalling not quite half the depth of the body; rays very slender; all simple, but articulated: vent some little way beyond the middle of the entire length; anal commencing immediately behind it, similar to the dorsal, and terminating in the same line with that fin: caudal forked for nearly half its length; the rays much branched, with the exception of the outermost above and below: pectorals inserted just below the produced lobe of the subopercle, and equalling one-third the entire length of the head; fourth and fifth rays longest; the middle ones branched; two or three of the lateral ones above and below simple.

B. 7; D. 58; A. 31; C. 15, and a few short ones; P. 15.

{Colours). Back, and upper part of the sides, brown, a little varied with blue and green: one or two dusky lines running parallel with the dorsal fin: lower part of the sides, and belly, silvery.

Not so common on the British coast as the next, with which it was confounded previously to M. Lesauvage, who first pointed out (1. c). the distinguishing characters of the two species. Generally keeps near the shore, burying itself in the sand, at the ebb of the tide, to the depth of one or two feet. Food, marine worms, and, according to Bloch, the young of its own species. Is much used as a bait for other fish. Said to spawn in May.