MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Sea snail (Liparis liparis liparis)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Liparis liparis is a small, clinging fish related to the lumpsucker (Cyclopteridae). They have tad-pole shaped bodies. The head is relatively large and broad compared to the elongated and tapering body. Underneath there is a rounded sucker derived from the pelvic fins. They have a single, long dorsal fin and a long anal fin. The skin of liparids is scaleless and their skin is loose, soft and slimy. The colour is a poor guide to identity, since it is variable with the habitat. The colour varies from brown to yellow, red or green.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found all round Britain and Ireland. However, they are more commonly seen off the west coasts of Scotland and Wales.

Global distribution

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Habitat

The sea snali is usually found in shallow water, but can extend down to 150 m. It is sometimes found in muddy and sandy areas but lives mainly amongst rocks.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Sucker on underside.
  • Tadpole shape.
  • One long dorsal fin.
  • Dorsal and anal fin joined to tail fin.
  • Soft loose skin.

Additional information

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Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Dipper, F., 2001. British sea fishes (2nd edn). Teddington: Underwater World Publications Ltd.

  2. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2008-02-18

  3. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Ruiz, A. 2008. Liparis liparis liparis Sea snail. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2180

Last Updated: 29/04/2008