Slimy Snailfish

Slimy Snailfish

Author: Amanda Brager

Common Name: Slimy Snailfish

Scientific name: Liparis mucosus

Size: Slimy snailfish grow to at least 7cm (2.75 inches) in length.


Identifying features:

Slimy Snailfish (Liparis mucosus) do not have scales. Their bodies are shaped like a tadpole and they have a small tail. They also have dorsal fins that almost connect to their tail fin. These are an interesting looking fish with miniscule eyes and tiny teeth, combined with a long skinny body. Snailfish attach to the ground using a small sucking disk below their head. These fish don’t have a strict colouring. They can be found with and without patterns and vary in colour.  They are mostly red, brown, pink, a greenish brown colour, and a yellowy green colour.

Habitat:

The Slimy Snailfish lives can be found in Alaska, the northeast Pacific, to southern British Columbia, Canada and down to Baja, Mexico. Depending upon the species, snailfish can live in shallow waters or up to 7500m deep.

Prey:

These Snailfish feed on small benthic crustaceans, mollusks, polychaete worms, and other small invertebrates. Snailfish will use their pelvic disk to attach to a rock while they wait patiently for something to swim by. They have sensory pores in their head and can feel vibrations when food is near. They eat by sucking in all of the water in front of them and filtering out the food.

Life cycle:

Snailfish lay only a few large eggs, being around 4.5-mm in size. The reason for this is so that their young develop properly; as well as being able to escape predators easier. The young Slimy Snailfish look more like a tadpole than the fully grown fish do. They lack a defined shape to there body and appear almost rod like.

Video by Amanda Brager and D. Young

Photos by D.Young

References:

Encyclopædia Britannica (June 1st 2011) Snailfish,  Retrieved  on May 5th 2011 From www.britannica.com

Hart, J.L. 1988. Pacific fishes of Canada. Ottawa, Canada. Canadian Government Publishing Centre.

Jamison, David W. Slimy Snailfish. Explore Puget Sound Habitats and Marine Life. Retrieved on May 5th and May 30th, 2011 from www.pugetsoundsealife.com/habitats+sealife/slimy_snailfish.html-used

Slimy Snailfish.  Retrieved on May 5th and 30th 2011 From www.fishbase.us

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply