Longspine Snipefish Macroramphosus scolopax

Longspine Snipefish

  Cold and temperate sea fish

Longspine Snipefish Macroramphosus scolopax

Identity card

Longspine Snipefish

Scientific name:
Macroramphosus scolopax
Year of description:
Linnaeus, 1758
IUCN Status:
Least Concern

Mediterranean, Atlantic and Indo-Pacific


Between 100 and 250 m deep


10 to 14 cm, 20 cm max


Carnivorous, mostly crustaceans.

Longspine Snipefish Macroramphosus scolopax

It takes its name from the bird of the same name, which also has a long beak.

The longspine snipefish is a gregarious fish: it can form shoals of several hundred individuals. This species breeds in winter; males and females are distinct.

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Where is the animal to be found?

  • It lives at depths of between 25 and 600 metres, but primarily between 100 and 250 metres.
  • It can be found on sandy or muddy seabeds near the coast.
  • Mediterranean, Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, in tropical or temperate latitudes.

How can it be recognised?

  • Its colour is predominantly orange and sometimes has some silver highlights.
  • Its eyes are relatively large compared to the size of its body. The longspine snipefish measures between 10 and 14 cm but can grow up to 20 cm.
  • It has a long tube-shaped snout that terminates in a tiny mouth. It also has dorsal spines, one of which is very long, serrated and points towards the rear.

What is distinctive about it?

It spends most of its time with its head facing downwards: it uses its tube-shaped, toothless mouth to suck up its prey. Therefore, adults are often seen in a slanted position, with their heads towards the ground, looking for food.

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?

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Longspine Snipefish Macroramphosus scolopax

Cold and temperate sea fish

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