Animal Species:Common Bellowsfish, Macroramphosus scolopax (Linnaeus, 1758)

The Common Bellowsfish is pink to orange above fading to silvery below. The genus is in need of revision, as currently the Common Bellowsfish is the only species of Macroramphosus recorded from temperate waters worldwide.

A Common Bellowsfish trawled off Norah Head

Ken Graham © Ken Graham, DPI Fisheries

Standard Common Name

Common Bellowsfish

Alternative Name/s

Common Snipefish, Long Nosed Snipefish, Longspine Snipefish, Snipefish

Identification

The Common Bellowsfish is an oval-shaped fish with an extremely long snout and a long, serrated second dorsal spine. The rigid body is highly compressed and has a bony ridge and several scutes on the belly. It is pink to orange above fading to silvery below. Juveniles are silvery-blue.

The genus is in need of revision. Currently there is only a single species of Macroramphosus recorded from temperate waters worldwide.

Size range

In Australia the Common Bellowsfish is reported to grow to 18 cm in length. A recent paper (see Borges, 2001, below) records a 22.8 cm long (total length) specimen from the Atlantic Ocean off Portugal.

Distribution

In Australia, the species is recorded from southern Queensland, south to Victoria and into the Great Australian Bight.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Macroramphosus scolopax

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Common Bellowsfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
scolopax
Genus:
Macroramphosus
Family:
Macroramphosidae
Order:
Gasterosteiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Gomon, M.F. in Gomon, M.F, Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
  3. Borges, L. 2001. A new maximum length for the Snipefish Macroramphosus scolopax. Cybium. 25(2); 191-192.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Common Bellowsfish, Macroramphosus scolopax, Macroramphosidae, pink, orange, silver underside, temperate water, marine, Common Snipefish, Long Nosed Snipefish, Longspine Snipefish, Snipefish, oval-shaped, long snout, compressed body,