Worm Pipefish

Fact File:

Common Name(s):
Worm Pipefish

Scientific Name:
Nerophis lumbriciformis

Usual Size:
up to 15cms

UK Record Weights from rod/line:



MAFF Minimum Size: Shore: Boat:


Males brood the eggs externally.

Lives in seaweed beds in rocky inshore waters. It is usually found in association with dark brown, cylindrical seaweeds, in which it is very well camouflaged.

Small crustaceans

Found mostly on Atlantic coastline and South West Britain (See additional notes)

Additional Notes:
Similar to the Straight-nosed Pipefish but is proportionally much shorter, has its eyes situated halfway between the gills and mouth, and it has a longer top jaw. The fish shown was found amongst seaweed in a rocky outcrop on the Durham coastline. Despite being classed as rare, this fish is common at this location. However, they are difficult to find because they live in seaweed which are almost identical in shape and colour to themselves.

Very long, worm-like body which is smooth and shows no bony plates. A uniform dark brown colour covers the whole of the body, fading slightly towards the ventral region. The head has a short, thin, round snout with a small upturned mouth; the eyes are small and situated halfway between the snout and gill covers. The dorsal fin is situated half way along the body and the small pectorals are situated behind the gills. Caudal, pelvic and anal fins are absent.

 Return to the