Nerophis ophidion

Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Nerophis ophidon (Linnaeus, 1758)

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Nerophis ophidion (Linnaeus, 1758) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: rings 28-33 + 68-82, D 32-44, subdorsal rings 5-3 + 6-8. Colour: greenish- brown on dorsum, light green on side, sometimes spotted; mature females with bright blue streaks on ventral part of trunk. Size: to 30 cm (females) or 25 cm (males) TL.

Habitat: marine, estuarine, occasionally in freshwater, to depths of about 15 m; usually associated with algae or eel-grass (Zostera). Food: no data. Reproduction: mostly brooding May-August; males with about 120-150 eggs (1.0-1.4 mm diameter) deposited in two rows on 17-20 trunk rings; early free-living young 12-14 mm TL.

Distribution: British Isles and Atlantic coasts from Trondheim, (Norway) to northern Morocco, excluding region from Denmark to the Netherlands, also in Mediterranean and Black Seas. Elsewhere, a questionable record from Senegal.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Ehrenbaum, 1909: 328, fig. 122 | Rauther, 1925: 10, pl. XVI (fig. 175), pl. XXI (fig. 227) | d'Ancona, 1933: 284, pl. XVIII (fig. 1-2).
Otoliths (sagitta). Fryd, 1901: 32.