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Author: (Pallas, 1770)

Pomatoschistus minutus (Pallas, 1770)

Diagnosts: lateral line system with sub-orbital row a having numerous short transverse rows around lower edge of orbit; row b extending forwards to below anterior half of eye; transverse rows beneath row b with only cp descending below level of row d; head canals with pores a) and d. Eyes dorsolateral. Branchiostegal membrane attached to anterior half of isthmus side. Predorsal area and breast scaled. Pelvic disc anterior membrane with villose rear edge. Caudal fin rounded. Dl VI (VI-VII); D2 I + 10-12; A I + 9-12; P 18-21. Scales in lateral series 55-75. Vertebrae 33 (32-34). Colour: sandy or grey with fine darker reticulation and ferruginous specks; males with 4 vertical dark bars and breast usually unpigmented; first dorsal fin rear dark spot present in both sexes, distal. Size: to 9.5 cm.

Habitat: inshore sand and muddy sand, typically to about 20 m, but may occur to 60-70 m; juveniles in lower estuaries. Food: small polychaetes, amphipods (corophiids, caprellids), cumaceans, mysids. Reproduction: February-May (Plymouth), February-June (Ythan, Aberdeenshire), March-July (Varna, Black Sea); repeat-spawning. Eggs 0.9-1.4 x 0.7-0.8 mm, under empty bivalve shells (Ostrea, Cyprina, etc.) or small stones, hatching at about 3.0 mm, in 6 days at 20 °C, 18 days at 10°C. Fecundity 2,878-3,000 eggs at 5.4-6.0 cm. Sexually mature at 7 months to 1 year. Lifespan: 1.3-2 years. Hybridization: may interbreed with P. Iozanoi (De Buen, 1923) (Webb, 1980; Wallis & Beardmore, 1980).

Distribution: eastern Atlantic (Tromsø, Norway, to Spain); Mediterranean and Black Sea, but probably not throughout.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Holt, 1890: 34, fig. 1-3 | Petersen, 1891: 4, pl. 1a (fig. 12), pl. Ib (fig. 13) | Holt, 1899: 43 | Ehrenbaum, 1905: 97, fig. 43 | Shann, 1910: 219, pl. 9 (fig. 1-3) | Petersen, 1919: 54, pl. I (fig. 6-10) | Lebour, 1919b: 55, pl. 1 (fig. 1) | de Buen, 1923: 231, fig. 55 | Padoa, 1953: 658, fig. 534-538 | Vodyanitzky & Kazanova, 1954: fig. 56 (2 fig.) | Kinzer, 1960: fig. 20 | Fonds, 1970: 624, fig. 2.
Otoliths (sagitta). Fryd, 1901: 23, 1 fig. | Scott, 1900: 58, pl. IIB (fig. 21-24) | Havinga, 1933: 79 | Bauzá-Rullán, 1961a: 158, pl. II (fig. 17-18).

Subspecies

Pomatoschistus minutus minutus: Atlantic.

Pomatoschistus minutus elongatus (Canestrini, 1861): Mediterranean and Black Sea; dark chin spot in females, and breast pigmentation more or less developed in both sexes.

Sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus)