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Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest

Longspine snipefish

Longspine snipefish

(Macroramphosus scolopax)

The longspine snipefish is found in the temperate waters of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indo-West Pacific. Adults live near the bottom on the lower continental shelf at depths to about 1,968 feet. Juveniles occupy waters nearer to the surface.

This species has a long snout that makes up about one-quarter of its body length. Its mouth is at the tip of the snout. Adult longspine snipefish can reach about 8 inches in length and have an oval-shaped, compressed, rigid body with scutes (bony plates) on the underside.

This uniquely-shaped fish can be seen hovering above the Japanese spider crabs in the Cold Water Quest gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The longspine snipefish is related to sea horses and sea dragons. All are members of the Sygnathid family.
  • Adults prey on bottom-dwelling invertebrates.
  • In turn, the longspine snipefish is preyed upon by bony fish, sharks and rays.
  • The second dorsal spine is long and serrated, which gives rise to its name.
  • Populations in the North Atlantic are believed to spawn in the winter.
  • Download full fact sheet

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