Branchiostoma lanceolatum

Habitat & Distribution

The only British species in this group, it is found burrowing in clean shell-gravel and sand in shallow to deep water. It has a south-western distribution and is mainly found off the south-west coast as far north as Anglesey. It is also recorded on the east coast of England, the coasts of south-western and northern Ireland, and Dorset. Classically this species is known from inside and outside of Plymouth Sound and on the Eddystone Grounds in south-east Cornwall. More recently it has been found in good numbers in the Falmouth Estuary and Falmouth Bay. There is an old record from St. Ives Bay on the north coast.


Dredging operations for dead maerl, amongst which the Lancelet is often found.