Slender snipe eel (Nemichthys scolopaceus)

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



Nemichthys scolopaceus has an extremely elongate body that can reach up to 1.3 m in length. The body ends in a long narrow filament. Its jaws form a long and narrow snout with small teeth, although females have a very short snout. The dorsal, caudal and anal fins are joined together. Nemichthys scolopaceus can be recognised by its more or less pigmented dark brown body and its numerous fine teeth. The anal fin and tips of the pectoral fins are almost black in colour.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found in the North Atlantic off the west coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution



The slender snipe eel is a deep sea, bathypelagic species occuring from the surface down to many hundred meters in depth.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Up to 1.3 m in length.
  • Elongate body ending in a narrow filament.
  • Long and narrow (males) or short (females) beak with fine teeth.
  • Dorsal, caudal and anal fins are joined.
  • Pigmented body.

Additional information

No text entered

Listed by

- none -


  1. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line], 2008-02-18

  2. 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.]

  3. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-04-25


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Nemichthys scolopaceus Slender snipe eel. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25-04-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 02/06/2008