Gymnammodytes capensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Ammodytidae

Scientific Name: Gymnammodytes capensis (Barnard, 1927)
Common Name(s):
English Cape Sandlance
French Cicerello du Cap
Spanish Barrinaire del Cabo
Ammodytes capensis Barnard, 1927
Taxonomic Notes: Gymnammodytes capensis and Gymnammodytes cicerelus do not significantly differ morphologically and therefore, their status is uncertain. They were described as separate species due to differences in geographic distribution of regional populations. A systematic revision is needed. (Nizinski in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-05-14
Assessor(s): Iwamoto, T.
Reviewer(s): Weller, S., Strongin, K., Polidoro, B. & Carpenter, K.E.
Gymnammodytes capensis occurs over the continental shelf off West Africa from Angola to Maputo Bay on the coast of Mozambique where it is frequently found in large quantities. However, due to taxonomic confusion with G. cicerelus, the distribution is uncertain. It is not commercially valuable, but is utilized in artisanal fisheries for bait and food It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Gymnammodytes capensis is distributed on the continental shelf off of the African coast from Angola to south around the Cape, and north to Maputo Bay, Mozambique (Smith and Heemstra 1986, Nizinski in press).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):59
Upper depth limit (metres):18
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Gymnammodytes capensis is often found abundantly throughout its range (Nizinski in press). This species can be plentiful along the south Cape coast (Heemstra 1986).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Members of the family Ammodytidae occur in sandy areas of most seas and are able to burrow rapidly head first (Heemstra 1986). Gymnammodytes capensis occurs in shallow coastal waters, mainly on sandy bottoms (Bianchi et al. 1999). Gymnammodytes capensis is a coastal species with a maximum size of 17 cm found on the continental shelf over shallower sand, shell and fine-gravel bottoms in offshore habitats. It is a schooling species that burrows head first into the sediment. Adults and juveniles feed in the water column on zooplankton during the day and burrow in the substrate at night. Species of the Ammodytidae family lay demersal eggs that adhere to sand grains. Their pelagic larvae have been known to dominate the ichthyoplankton during peak spawning season. Gymnammodytes spp. are important prey items for other fishes, birds and mammals (Nizinski in press).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Gymnammodytes capensis is excellent bait and good eating, but is too small to be of significant commercial importance (Heemstra 1984). Gymnammodytes capensis is utilized on a small-scale basis for bait and food in some areas (Nizinski in press). According to Bianchi et al. (1999), there were no fisheries for G. capensis at the time.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Members of the family Ammodytidae have been deemed as excellent bait (Heemstra 1984), however, there are no known major threats to Gymnammodytes capensis.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Gymnammodytes capensis. However, it may occur in protected areas that occur within its distribution range (World Database on Protected Areas 2010).

Citation: Iwamoto, T. 2015. Gymnammodytes capensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T15521789A15603415. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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