10 20 40 60 cm

mittakaava < 20 cm

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Sea snail

Liparis liparis

  • Other names: Common seasnail
  • Family: Seasnails – Liparidae
  • Similar species: None
  • Size: 8–14 cm.
  • Appearance: The large rounded head and forepart of the body, together with the flat rear body and tail fringed with fins, makes the sea snail a curious-looking fish. The skin is slimy and without scales. The pectoral fins are large and join beneath the body. The pelvic fins form a sucking disc between the pectorals.
  • Colouring: Markings irregular and often dark brown. Sometimes colouring even darker, almost black.
  • Reproduction: Spawns in winter between December and February. Eggs adhere to subsurface vegetation.
  • Food: Feeds on bottom-living organisms.
  • Distribution and habitat: Probably fairly common off the Finnish coast between Helsinki and Pori. Less frequent in the extreme reaches of the Gulf of Finland and Gulf of Bothnia, where it avoids inlets with little or no salinity. As with most cold-water species, the sea snail seeks deepish water (at least 5–10 m) during summer. Frequents shallower water in autumn. Spends most of its time sitting on the bottom attached to stones by means of its sucking disc, tail folded against its head.

Despite being so common, few people have seen a sea snail. Seldom turns up in nets or traps. However, may attach itself to the weights and floats of nets.

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