10 20 40 60 cm

mittakaava < 20 cm

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Wilhelm von Wright: Pohjolan kalat, Lauri Urho, Jouko Lehmuskallio

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Straightnose pipefish

Nerophis ophidion

  • Family: Pipefishes and seahorses – Syngnathidae
  • Similar species: broad-nosed pipefish
  • Size: Usually 15-20 cm, max. 30 cm.
  • Appearance: Although at first sight it may resemble a worm, once recognised as a fish the thread-like straightnose pipefish is easily identified with its small head and gill cover. The head and snout bring to mind a seahorse, of which it is a distant relative. The only fish with which it can be confused is its cousin the broad-nosed pipefish. However, the straightnose pipefish is rather more slender and rounder in cross-section. Its only fin is a dorsal fin mid-way down the back. The broad-nosed pipefish also has a tiny caudal fin, and its snout is longer and more conspicuous.
  • Colouring: Overall green, belly yellowish. The female is more decorative with pale blue markings on head and body. Both sexes become more colourful at spawning time, the male’s snout turning yellow.
  • Reproduction: Spawns in mid-summer, mainly in July. The female deposits her eggs in the male’s brood pouch, where he fertilises them and carries them for some three weeks before “giving birth” to the free-swimming fry.
  • Food: Plankton.
  • Distribution and habitat: Straightnose pipefish occur along Finland’s entire coastline with the exception of the northernmost Gulf of Bothnia, where water salinity is too low. Lives among eel grass, bladderwrack and sea lace with its tail around the weed and head up, swaying along with the vegetation. Feeds by sucking in passing planktonic copepods.

Seldom seen, although sharp-eyed fishermen may notice it sometimes clinging to nets.

Other species from the same family

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