Mitsukuri's Sandlance, Bleekeria mitsukurii Jordan & Evermann 1902

Other Names: Taiwan Sand Lance

Mitsukuri's Sandlance, Bleekeria mitsukurii, from off Cape Leveque, Western Australia, NMV A 29708-003, depth 110 metres. Source: Dianne J. Bray / Museums Victoria. License: All rights reserved

A sandlance with a yellowish back (pinkish below), a yellowish snout, a broad yellow margin on the dorsal fin, and a narrow black margin on the caudal fin. This species possesses very small pelvic fins comprised of a single short spine and 3 rays, positioned near the ventral surface before the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Bleekeria mitsukurii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Mar 2023,

Mitsukuri's Sandlance, Bleekeria mitsukurii Jordan & Evermann 1902

More Info


Off Eighty Mile Beach to NW of Broome, Western Australia, and the Coral Sea off Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-west Pacific.
Small schools feed on zooplankton over sandy areas, diving into the sand when threatened. 


Dorsal fin 40-43; Anal fin 14-17; Pectoral fins 14-17; Pelvic fins I. 3; Gill rakers 24-31; Vertebrae 28-30 + 22-25 = 52-55. 
Body elongate, almost cylindrical.; mouth large, terminal; lower jaw strongly projecting; upper jaw protrusible.
Dorsal fin continuous, height 1/2 to 2/3 body depth; anal fin 1/2 the length of dorsal fin; caudal fin somewhat forked; pelvic fins rudimentary.



The species is named in honour of Professor Kakichi Mitsukuri of the Imperial University of Tokyo, who provided the authors with specimens of Japanese fishes.

Species Citation

Bleekeria mitsukurii Jordan & Evermann 1902, Proc. U. S. Natl Mus. 25(1289): 333, Fig. 12. Type locality: Yilan [Giran], Taiwan (as Formosa).


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Mitsukuri's Sandlance, Bleekeria mitsukurii Jordan & Evermann 1902


Collette, B.B. 2001. Ammodytidae. 3518 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Fowler, H.W. 1931. Studies on the fishes of Hong Kong - No. 2. Hong Kong Naturalist 2(4): 287-317 figs 1-16.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Ida, H., Sirimontaporn, P. & Monkolprasit, S. 1994. Comparative morphology of the fishes of the family Ammodytidae, with a description of two new genera and two new species. Zoological Studies 33(4): 251-277. See ref online

Jordan, D.S. 1903. Supplementary note on Bleekeria mitsukurii, and on certain Japanese fishes. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 26(1328): 693-696, Pl. 30. (as Embolichthys mitsukuriiSee ref at BHL

Jordan, D.S. & Evermann, B.W. 1902. Notes on a collection of fishes from the island of Formosa. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 25(1289): 315-368 figs 1-29 See ref at BHL

Joshi, K.K., Zacharia, P.U. & Kanthan, P. 2012. Description of a new sand lance species, Bleekeria murtii (Perciformes: Ammodytidae) from India. Indian Journal of Fisheries 59(2): 101-107. See ref online

Okiyama, M. 1993. An atlas of the early stage fishes in Japan. Koeltz Scientific Books, Germany. 1154 pp. (as Embolichthys mitsukurii)

Pietsch, T.W. & Zabetian, C.P. 1990. Osteology and interrelationships of the sand lances (Teleostei: Ammodytidae). Copeia 1990(1): 78-100 (as Embolichthys mitsukurii)

Psomadakis, P.N., Yoshinaga, T., Wah, Z. Z. & Ida, H. 2021. Description of two new species of sandlances, genus Bleekeria (Perciformes, Ammodytidae) from the Andaman Sea (northeastern Indian Ocean). Zootaxa 4903(3): 419-429.

Varsha, M.S., Sethulakshmi, M., Ida, H., Randall, J.E. & Joshi, K.K. 2019. A taxonomic revision of the fishes of the genus Bleekeria (Perciformes, Ammodytidae). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India 60(2): 18-25.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37425001

Depth:30-200 m

Habitat:Sandy bottoms

Max Size:16 cm TL

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