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Author: (Walbaum, 1792)

Lumpenus lampretaeformis (Walbaum, 1792)

Diagnosis: body very elongate, almost eel-like, depth about 15 times in SL. No teeth on palatines. Dorsal fin long, well separated from caudal fin, with 68-76 spines, the anterior 1-2 spines free (not connected by membrane); anal fin with 46-62 soft finrays; caudal fin long and somewhat pointed. Colours: body (in life) light brownish-yellow, with pearly bluish hues, flanks with numerous brown patches, sometimes merging into oblique bars; usually 8-10 larger midlateral patches. Size: to 49 cm SL, usually not more than 30-35 cm.

Habitat: demersal on muddy grounds at 30-200 m, usually at 40-100 m; possibly burrows in mud. Food: small crustaceans, molluscs, brittlestars and worms. Reproduction: December/January (at least in Danish waters); fry found February-April, pelagic, becoming bottom-living at 3-4 cm; fecundity 600-1100 eggs.

Distribution: Spitsbergen southward to Scandinavian coasts, North Sea, southern part of Baltic, the Faroes, Iceland and south-eastern coasts of Greenland. Elsewhere, western coasts of Greenland; also, Labrador and Newfoundland to Massachusetts Bay (subspecies L. lampretaeformis serpentinus Storer).

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Knipowitch, 1901: 69 (larvae and juveniles) | Ehrenbaum & Strodtmann, 1904: 105, fig. 9 (larvae) | Saemundsson, 1927: 18 (larvae) | Pertzeva, 1939: 461 (juveniles).
Otoliths (sagitta). Chaine, 1956: 260, pl. 6.

Serpent blenny (Lumpenus lampretaeformis)