Tube-snouts, snipefishes & bellowfishes

flavidus_CCBY-NC_DRossRobertsonThe only member of the family Aulorhynchidae, the tubesnout (Aulorhynchus flavidus) can very easily be mistaken for a pipefish. It’s elongated body and snout make for a striking resemblance. The species swims in schools and lives in northeastern Pacific waters off the coasts of North America.

The snipefish family, Macrorhamphosidae, originally consisted of two species. More recent genetic studies have revealed that in fact one of the species is actually the juvenile form of the one true species, Macrorhamphosus scolopax. These tall but slender fish have elongated snouts that allow them to feed off of crustaceans.

The closely related Centriscidae (some authors treat the Macrorhamphosidae as part of the Centriscidae) also have flattened bodies. They often orient vertically in the water column, mimicking coral or seagrasses, for camouflage from predators and prey alike. The Centriscidae are present around the world in tropical and subtropical waters.


Aulorhynchidae (Tube-snout)

Photo Name, Authority Common Name(s) IUCN Red List Status Profile Range
flavidus_CCBY-NC_DRossRobertson Aulorhynchus flavidus
Gill 1861
Tube-snout LC  logo_wikilogo_eolGBIFurl  NE Pacific

Macrorhamphosidae (Snipefishes)

Photo Name (Authority) Common
Red List Status Profile Range
flavidus_CCBY-NC_DRossRobertson M. scolopax, (Linneaus 1758) Longspine
 LC logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl Atlantic,

Centriscidae (Bellowfishes)

Photo Name (Authority) Common
Red List Status Profile Range
flavidus_CCBY-NC_DRossRobertson Aeoliscus punctulatus
(Bianconi 1854)
Shrimpfish, speckled
 DD logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl Western Indian Ocean
flavidus_CCBY-NC_DRossRobertson A. strigatus
(Gunther 1861)
Razorfish  DD logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl  Indo-Pacific
flavidus_CCBY-NC_DRossRobertson Centriscops humerosus
(Richardson 1846)
banded snipefish
 LC logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl Circumglobal
in s. temperate
workimagethumb C. cristatus
(De Vis 1885)
Smooth razorfish  DD logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl Indo-Pacific
flavidus_CCBY-NC_DRossRobertson C. scutatus
Linnaeus 1758
Grooved razorfish,
grooved shrimpfish,
rigid shrimpfish,
serrate razorfish, guttersnipe fish
 LC  logo_eolGBIFurl Central &
eastern Indian Ocean,
Notopogon armatus
(Sauvage 1879)
 LC logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl Western Indian Ocean
flavidus_CCBY-NC_DRossRobertson N. fernandezianus
(Delfin 1899)
Orange bellowfish  LC logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl Southeastern
Pacific, south-western Atlantic
N. lilliei
Regan 1914
Crested bellowfish, bristle snipefish  LC logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl Australia &
New Zealand, southwestern
Indian Ocean, southeastern Atlantic
 N. macrosolen
Barnard 1925
longsnout bellowfish
LC logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl  Southeastern Atlantic
N. xenosoma
Regan 1914
 LC logo_wiki logo_eolGBIFurl Southern Indian Ocean, Australia
& New Zealand

IUCN Red List key: 

EX=Extinct EW=Extinct in the Wild CR=Critically Endangered EN=Endangered VU=Vulnerable NT=Near Threatened LC=Least Concern DD=Data Deficient NE=Not Evaluated

(Click here for a full explanation of IUCN Red List categories.)

A note on ‘Data Deficient’ species: Species that are assessed as Data Deficient are deemed to have insufficient information known about them to carry out a proper conservation assessment. Although such species are not assessed as threatened, we may find out that they in fact are, once enough data is obtained.


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