Russian Journal of Marine Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 447–454 | Cite as

The taxonomic composition and distribution of sand lances from the genus Ammodytes (Perciformes: Ammodytidae) in the North Pacific

  • S. V. Turanov
  • Yu. Ph. Kartavtsev
Genetics, Ichthyology


An analysis of the variability of 34 sequences of the 5′-region of the Co-1 mitochondrial gene fish of the genus Ammodytes has been performed taking the precise geographic location into account. Among them, seven sequences are original data and 27 were retrieved from the GenBank. Two hypotheses on the taxonomic composition of sand lances of North Pacific have been proposed. The first is preferable to the authors; it assumes that there are four separate species, while the second considers the presence of a complex circumpolar species with four major local geographic races. Both hypotheses suppose a clear delineation and deep divergence of cold-water sand lances from warmer-water southern ones. These data and the analysis of the history of the study of the taxonomy of far-eastern sand lances allowed us to consider that the use of the species name A. personatus is inappropriate for sand lances from the Yellow Sea and the southern part of the Sea of Japan, as well as for some representatives of the Bering sea and the Sea of Okhotsk and adjacent waters, which form a separate monophyletic group with the current name Ammodytes hexapterus.


Ammodytes sand lances taxonomic structure distribution mitochondrial gene Co-1 cryptic biodiversity 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern BranchRussian Academy of SciencesVladivostokRussia
  2. 2.Far Eastern Federal UniversityVladivostokRussia

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