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Species guide

Longspine spinefish

Scientific name: Macroramphosus scolopax

 

DESCRIPTION:

The longspine spinefish is characterised as having an extremely long beak in the shape of a tube, with a small mouth with no teeth at the end. The head and the back are golden pink, but the belly is more silver.
Its maximum size is 18 cm.

 

BIOLOGY:

This is a fish that forms banks with other species such as Capros aper.

It feeds on plankton animals: crustaceans (copepoods and decapods), fish larvae and occasionally poliquet anelids, which it traps by suction.

It is an oviparous species that reproduces in January and February. When they come out of the egg they have a short beak, but from a very early age, when they are 10 mm, they already have the typical adult morphology.

 

HABITAT:

The longspine spinefish lives in muddy and chalky beds from 40 to 300 m in depth.

 

DISTRIBUTION:

It is found throughout the Mediterranean, but is more abundant in the west (our waters). It also lives in the eastern Atlantic, from the British Isles to the Canary Islands. Its presence has also been noted in the United States, Brazil and Argentina.

 

STATUS:

Species not evaluated (according to the red list of threatened species).

 

CURIOSITIES:

The scales on its body are fairly rough to the touch because they have small needles that cover the free edge of the scale.