Body round, slightly compressed anteriorly: snout very short; of nearly equal breadth with the head: dorsal and vent at about the middle of the entire length.

S. Ophidion, Flem. Brit. An. p. 176. Acus lumbriciformis, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 160. Little Pipe-Fish, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 141. pl. 33. no. 62. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 187. no. 62.

Length

From six to nine inches.

Description

(Form). Extremely slender; the trunk or anterior half slightly compressed, but without angles; the tail round, and tapering to a very fine point, without even the rudiment of a caudal fin: transverse shields smooth, apd of a membranous nature, somewhat resembling the segments of the common earth-worm; between the gills and the vent twenty-eight; thence to the end of the tail upwards of sixty, perhaps near seventy, but towards the tip so minute as scarcely to admit of being counted with exactness: head small, scarcely one-seventeenth of the entire length; crown flat, without any elevated ridge; snout very short, blunt at the tip, compressed, with a sharp keel above and below; its breadth, vertically, not much less than that of the head: dorsal at about the middle of the entire length, but rather more of the fin behind than before it, the distance from the end of the snout to the first ray being a little greater than that from the last ray to the extremity of the tail: vent also almost exactly in the middle, if any thing a little behind it; with respect to the dorsal, it is forwarder than in the two last species, only one-third of that fin lying in advance of it.

D.39; A. 0; CO; V. 0.

{Colour). Of a uniform olive, sometimes yellowish, brown; in my specimen, a longitudinal dark fascia extends from behind the gill-cover over the first six segments of the trunk.

As this species would seem not to be the S. Ophidion of continental authors, I have restored to it the name originally given it by Willughby, in consideration of its worm-like appearance. I believe it is not uncommon on many parts of the coast, and is said to be called in Cornwall a Sea-Adder. The ova are not carried by the male in a caudal pouch, but " in hemispheric depressions on the external surface of the abdomen, anterior to the vent." Obs. The S. Ophidion of Berkenhout and Turton may be intended either for this species or the last.