Snailfish


Snailfish

Taxobox
name = Snailfishes


image_caption = Snailfish (probably "Elassodiscus tremebundus") caught in the eastern Bering Sea
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Actinopterygii
ordo = Scorpaeniformes
familia = Liparidae
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Acantholiparis"
"Allocareproctus"
"Careproctus"
"Crystallichthys"
"Edentoliparis"
"Elassodiscus"
"Genioliparis"
"Gyrinichthys"
"Liparis"
"Lipariscus"
"Menziesichthys"
"Nectoliparis"
"Notoliparis"
"Odontoliparis"
"Osteodiscus"
"Palmoliparis"
"Paraliparis"
"Polypera simushirae"
"Psednos"
"Pseudoliparis"
"Rhinoliparis"
"Rhodichthys"
"Squaloliparis"

Snailfishes are scorpaeniform marine fish of the family Liparidae. Widely distributed from the Arctic to Antarctic Oceans including the northern Pacific, the snailfish family contains approximately 23 genera and 195 species. They are closely related to the sculpins of the Cottidae family and the lumpfish of the Cyclopteridae family. Snailfish are sometimes included within the latter family.

The snailfish family is poorly studied and few specifics are known. Their elongate, tadpole-like bodies are similar in profile to the rattails. Their heads are large with small eyes; their bodies are slender to deep, tapering to a very small tail. The extensive dorsal and anal fins may merge or nearly merge with the tail fin. Snailfish are scaleless with a thin, loose gelatinous skin; some species, such as the spiny snailfish ("Acantholiparis opercularis") have prickly spines as well. Their teeth are small and simple with blunt cusps. The deep-sea species have prominent, well-developed sensory pores of the head, part of the animals' lateral line system.

The pectoral fins are large and provide the snailfish with its primary means of locomotion. They are benthic fish with pelvic fins modified to form an adhesive disc; this nearly circular disc is absent in "Paraliparis" and "Nectoliparis" species. Snailfish range in size from "Paraliparis australis" at 5 centimetres to "Polypera simushirae" at some 77 centimetres in length. The latter species may reach a weight of 11 kilograms, but most species are toward the smaller end of this range. Snailfish are of no interest to commercial fisheries.

The habitats chosen by snailfish are as widely variable as their size; they are found in both shallow intertidal zones and at fantastic depths of 7,500 metres or more, in both cold and warm waters. The diminutive inquiline snailfish ("Liparis inquilinus") of the northwestern Atlantic is known to live out its life inside the mantle cavity of the scallop "Placopecten magellanicus". The kelp snailfish ("Liparis tunicatus") lives amongst the kelp forests of the Bering Strait and the estuary of the St. Lawrence River. Other species are found on muddy or silty bottoms of continental slopes. Snailfish are abundant in most (especially polar) waters and are highly resilient.

Reproductive strategies are also known to vary among the species. At least one species, the abyssal snailfish (Careproctus ovigerum) of the North Pacific, is known to practice mouth brooding; that is, the male of the species carries the developing eggs around in his mouth. All species are known to lay a small number (c. 300) of relatively large eggs (4.5-8 mm in diameter). Other species of the genus Careproctus lay their eggs in the gill cavities of king crabs.

The diet of snailfish consists primarily of small benthic crustaceans, mollusks, polychaete worms, and other small invertebrates. Some species are also piscivorous. Specialist species such as "Paraliparis rosaceus" feed exclusively on sea cucumbers.

In October 2008, a UK-Japan team discovered a shoal of "Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis" at a depth of 7.7km (4.8 miles) in the Japan Trench, these are believed to be the deepest living fish ever recorded [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7655358.stm] .

References

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External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Snailfish — Snail fish , n. (Zo[ o]l.) See {Sea snail} (a) . [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • snailfish — /snayl fish /, n., pl. (esp. collectively) snailfish, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) snailfishes. any of several elongate, smooth skinned fishes of the family Liparididae, inhabiting cold seas, having the ventral fins modified… …   Universalium

  • snailfish — noun (plural same or snailfishes) a small sea fish with loose jelly like skin and typically a ventral sucker. [Liparis liparis (N. Atlantic) and other species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • snailfish — noun small tadpole shaped cold water fishes with pelvic fins forming a sucker; related to lumpfish • Syn: ↑seasnail, ↑sea snail, ↑Liparis liparis • Hypernyms: ↑scorpaenoid, ↑scorpaenoid fish • Member Holonyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • barred snailfish — poledinis gleivys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Crystallias matsushimae angl. barred snailfish; bearded snailfish rus. кристаллиновый липарис ryšiai: platesnis terminas – polediniai gleiviai …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • bearded snailfish — poledinis gleivys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Crystallias matsushimae angl. barred snailfish; bearded snailfish rus. кристаллиновый липарис ryšiai: platesnis terminas – polediniai gleiviai …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • spiny snailfish — dygusis gleivys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Acantholiparis opercularis angl. spiny snailfish rus. акантолипарис; колючий липарис ryšiai: platesnis terminas – dygieji gleiviai …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • smalldisk snailfish — mažadiskis gleivys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Careproctus gilberti angl. smalldisk snailfish; small disked liparid rus. карепрокт Гильберта ryšiai: platesnis terminas – įvairiaspalviai gleiviai …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • black-tailed snailfish — juodauodegis gleivys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Careproctus melanurus angl. black tailed liparid; black tailed snailfish rus. чернохвостый карепрокт ryšiai: platesnis terminas – įvairiaspalviai… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • northern snailfish — šiaurinis gleivys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Careproctus reinhardti angl. northern snailfish; sea tadpole rus. карепрокт Рейнхардта; северный карепрокт ryšiai: platesnis terminas –… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas


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