Small sand eel

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Small sand eel
A sand eel at Belhaven Bay (geograph 2326012) .jpg

Little sand eel ( Ammodytes marinus )

Spinefish (Acanthopterygii)
Perch relatives (Percomorphaceae)
Order : Celestial gazers (Uranoscopiformes)
Family : Sand eels (Ammodytidae)
Genre : Ammodytes
Type : Small sand eel
Scientific name
Ammodytes marinus
Raitt , 1934

The small sand eel ( Ammodytes marinus ) is an elongated, small marine fish from the family of sand eels (Ammodytidae). It occurs from Bear Island , the southwest coast of Novaya Zemlya and the coasts of Iceland and Greenland to the English Channel , also in the western Baltic Sea. The small sand eel is the most common type of sand eel in the North Sea.


The fish are about 25 centimeters long. In contrast to the very similar Tobias fish ( Ammodytes tobianus ), the caudal fin base of the small sand eel is not scaly and the belly scales, which in the Tobias fish are arranged tightly in overlapping regular angles, are arranged irregularly in the small sand eel. The upper jaw is protactile (can be pushed forward), the palate is toothless.

  • Fin formula: Dorsal: 56-63; Anal: 29-33

Way of life

Small sand eels live in large schools more in the open sea than near the coast at depths of 10 to 150 meters. They prefer to stay above gravel floors and on banks with strong tidal currents and feed on zooplankton . Apart from the spawning season, which takes place between November and February, they spend the winter buried in the sand as well as the nights. The 4,000 to 25,000 eggs released in several spawning processes adhere to sand and gravel. The larvae are 4 to 8 mm long when hatched and live pelagic up to a length of 5 cm . Small sand eels are important prey for cod , haddock and saithe .


Off the Danish coast, the small sand eel is fished on a large scale by a special fishing fleet with fine-meshed trawls from the North Sea and processed into fish meal and fish oil in Esbjerg . These materials provide the basis for the production of pellet feed for the trout - fish farming is.

supporting documents

  1. ^ A b c d Bent J. Muus, Jørgen G. Nielsen: The marine fish of Europe. In the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic. Franckh-Kosmos Verlag, ISBN 3440078043 , pages 214-215.
  2. a b Small sand eel on (English)