10 20 40 60 cm
mittakaava < 40 cm
© Copyright: Images:
Wilhelm von Wright: Pohjolan kalat, Lauri Urho, Jouko Lehmuskallio. All rights reserved.
- Family: Pricklebacks – Stichaeidae
- Slightly similar species: brook lamprey, eel, river lamprey, rock gunnel, viviparous blenny
- Size: Usually 20-30 cm.
- Appearance: Body resembles that of an eel or an elongated burbot. Vent well forward of mid-point of body making compressed rear body longer than the more rounded front body. Rays of long dorsal and anal fins spiny but rather soft. Caudal fin rounded, clearly defined. Caudal peduncle short. Pelvic fins slender. Scales small, skin slimy. Snout blunt and mouth straight. Upper jaw protrudes beyond lower.
- Colouring: Back is light brown with irregular darker patches. Sides have a bluish tinge. Caudal fin has darkish stripes.
- Reproduction: Spawns mainly in winter, though some individuals may spawn in spring or autumn, or even during the summer. Inhabits deep, cold, dark waters where seasonal weather changes probably have little impact.
- Food: Bottom invertebrates, notably small mysids.
- Distribution and habitat: Baltic Sea, western parts of Gulf of Finland, and Gulf of Bothnia except the very north. The snake blenny is found only in deep water, and in Finland is not known to inhabit waters shallower than 25 m. Few people will have seen this small slimy fish, but it is probably quite common in Finnish sea waters. At such depths it seldom turns up in traps, especially with the decline in bottom trawling for Baltic herring.