Family MACRORAMPHOSIDAE


Common name: Bellowfishes, Snipefishes

Silhouette

Summary:
Bellowsfishes have a laterally compressed body, a long tubular snout with a small terminal mouth, and a large robust first dorsal-fin spine. Some species are gregarious and form large schools above the seafloor.

Cite this page as:
Bellowfishes, MACRORAMPHOSIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Sep 2017, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/family/125

More Info


Family Taxonomy

A small family with 3 described genera, 2 of which are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. Although there are 9 described species, the family may comprise more species than are currently recognised. Five species in 3 genera occur in Australian waters.

Family Distribution

Circumglobal in temperate and tropical waters on the continental shelf and slope. Bellowsfishes are benthic or bentho-pelagic over rocky, sandy, muddy or detritus bottoms, at depths between 46–1000 m. Some species form schools above the seafloor. Juveniles are pelagic.

Family Description

Meristics: D IV-VII, 9-11; A 19-20; P 15; V I, 4 C 23; Vert 24; BR 4-5 Circumorbital bones 1 Head and body highly compressed, moderately deep to very deep, almost circular in shape. Snout slender, elongate, mouth tiny, teeth absent. First or second dorsal-fin spine long, stout, pointed; soft dorsal fin and caudal fin displaced ventrally on body; pelvic fins small. Sides of body covered in granular scales resulting in a sandpaper-like texture; bony body plates present. Lateral line absent.

Family Size

Bellowfishes grow to more than 30 cm in length.

Family Colour

Bellowsfishes are usually orange, red or brownish in colour, and some species are banded.

Family Feeding

Bellowsfishes are carnivores and feed on zooplankton, benthic fauna including crustaceans and echinoderms, and small fishes. Prey items are sucked in through the long snout.

Family Reproduction

The sexes are separate, and fertilisation is external. The eggs are spherical with a single oil droplet and rose-violet coloured yolk. Larvae and small juveniles are pelagic. They are lightly pigmented, and develop body spinules at a length of 6 mm. Small juveniles are pelagic.

Family Commercial

Although of no real commercial importance, some species are taken in large numbers as bycatch in commercial bottom trawls. Some species are sold in the aquarium industry.

Family Conservation

Not evaluated.

References


Bilecenoglu, M. 2006. Status of the genus Macroramphosus (Syngnathiformes: Centriscidae) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Zootaxa 1273: 55–64.

Borges, L. 2001. A new maximum length for the snipefish Macrocramphosus scolopax. Cybium 25(2): 191-192.

Clarke, T.A. 1984. Diet and morphological variation in snipefishes, presently recognized as Macrorhamphosus scolopax, from southeast Australia: evidence for two sexually dimorphic species. Copeia 1984(3): 595-608.

Duhamel, G. 1995. Révision des genres Centriscops et Notopogon, Macroramphosidae des zones subtropicale et tempérée de l'hémisphère sud. Cybium 19(3): 261-303.

Fritzsche, R.A. & K.G. Thiesfeld. 1999. Centricidae, in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. 1999. Species identification guide for fisheries purposes. The living marine resources of the western central Pacific. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO, Rome.

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Macrorhamphosidae (p. 480-484). In Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. (Eds.) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland, Chatswood, Australia, 928 pp.

Kuiter, R. H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Aquatic Photographics, Seaford, Australia. 333 pp.

May, J.L. & J.G.H. Maxwell. 1986. Trawl fish from temperate waters of Australia. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Research, Tasmania. 492 p.

Miyazaki, E., Sasaki, K., Mitani, T., Ishida, M. & Uehara, S. 2004. The occurrance of two species of Macroramphosus (Gasterosteiformes: Macroramphosidae) in Japan: morphological and ecological observation on larvae, juveniles and adults. Ichthyol. Res. 51: 256-262.

Mohr, E. 1937. Revision der Centriscidae (Acanthopterygii Centrisciformes). Dana Rept. 13: 1-69, figs. 1-33 pls. 1-2

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the world. 4th Ed. Wiley and Sons, New York, 601 p.

Paulin, C., A. Stewart, C. Roberts and P. McMillan, 1989 New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series No. 19. xiv+279 p

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates & D.F. Hoese. 2006. Gasterosteiformes, In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells (Eds). Zoological catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Fishes. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Australia. Part 2.

Regan, C.T. (1914). Diagnoses of new marine fishes collected by the British Antarctic Terra Nova Expedition. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (8) 13(2): 11-17.

Smith, M.M. & P.C. Heemstra. 1986. (eds.) Smiths' Sea Fishes. Macmillan South Africa.

Watson, W., 1996 Centriscidae: snipefishes and shrimpfishes. p. 725-727. In H.G. Moser (ed.) The early stages of fishes in the California Current Region. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) Atlas No. 33. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 1505 pp.