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Fish # 124 Common Seasnail Liparis liparis ~ Marcelle Seabourne
Acrylic on foil collage 22 x 17 cm
Liparis Liparis - English names: Common Seasnail, Striped Seasnail, Ringbug or just plain Sea-snail.
The common seasnail is, of course, not a snail at all, but an unusual-looking fish with a large front part of the body and a flattened tail end. It has a bony head with two pairs of nostrils on its snout. It has large pectoral fins which join beneath its body and a pelvic fin in the form of a large sucking disc. Living for about three years, the seasnail grows to between 8cm and 14cm long. It lives on the seabed, from the shallow, sub-tidal zone to depths of 300m, feeding on small crustaceans such as shrimps or crabs, polychaete worms and small fish.
Despite being quite common, few people have seen a sea snail, as it is rarely caught in nets or traps, though it may attach itself to the weights and floats of nets.
The near-shore habitat of the common seasnail has been impacted by pollution discharges, such as sewage and industrial waste, over much of the last century or more. However, this species has a good recovery record and effects are thought to be localised, so the presence of seasnails may indicate a cleaner marine environment.
I made this image of a common seasnail from a piece of aluminium foil (pre-used in the kitchen), using acrylic paint for the surface markings and then adding a monoprint background.
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