Puneet Varma (Editor)


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Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Amphioxiformes
Scientific name  Branchiostoma
Phylum  Chordata
Subphylum  Cephalochordata
Family  Branchiostomidae
Higher classification  Branchiostomidae
Rank  Genus
Branchiostoma Branchiostoma lanceolatum Common lancelet Amphioxus lanceolatum

Lower classifications  Branchiostoma lanceolatum, Branchiostoma floridae

Branchiostoma lanceolatum

Branchiostoma is one of the few living genera of lancelets (order Amphioxiformes). It is the type genus of family Branchiostomidae.


Branchiostoma Branchiostoma

These small vaguely eel- or snake-like animals are close relatives of vertebrates. The scientific name means "gill-mouth", referring to their anatomy – unlike vertebrates, they do not have a true head (with a skull capsule, eyes, nose, a well-developed brain etc.), but merely a mouth adjacent to the gill-slits, with the slightly enlarged anterior end of the dorsal nerve cord above and in front of them.

Like all lancelets, they are filter feeders that hide in the sediment most of the time. The genus inhabits coastal waters e.g. of the North Atlantic.

branchiostoma belcheri


  • Branchiostoma belcheri
  • Branchiostoma californiense
  • Branchiostoma capense
  • Branchiostoma caribaeum
  • Branchiostoma clonaseum
  • Branchiostoma floridae
  • Branchiostoma lanceolatum
  • Branchiostoma minucauda
  • Branchiostoma moretonensis
  • Branchiostoma valdiviae
  • Branchiostoma virginiae

  • Branchiostoma Biology of Extinct Animals

    Lancelet biodiversity is not very well studied; other as yet undescribed species (perhaps including cryptic species) might await discovery.


    Branchiostoma Wikipedia