Common Snipefish, Macroramphosus scolopax Click to enlarge image
A Common Snipefish trawled by K. Graham on FRV Kapala, at a depth of 140 m, off Norah Head, New South Wales, September 1978. Image: Ken Graham
© Ken Graham/ DPI Fisheries

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    scolopax
    Genus
    Macroramphosus
    Family
    Macroramphosidae
    Order
    Syngnathiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • 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.

Introduction

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.

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.

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.



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.