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Aulorhynchus flavidus 1.jpg
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification

A. flavidus
Binomial name
Aulorhynchus flavidus

Aulorhynchus flavidus, the tube-snout, is a species of fish related to the sticklebacks. It is the only species in the genus Aulorhynchus which is the only genus currently recognized in the family Aulorhynchidae.

This species grows to 18 cm (7.1 in) in total length. It physically resembles the sticklebacks, but has a thinner, longer body, with 24 to 27 small spines in front of the dorsal fin. It also possess a slender snout, hence the common name. Like the sticklebacks, it feeds on small invertebrates and fish larvae.[1]

Also, like sticklebacks, it produces a sticky secretion from its kidneys when breeding. Whereas sticklebacks use this secretion to bind plant matter together to create a nest, the tube-snout simply attaches its eggs to a substrate. Aulorhynchus attaches its eggs to kelp,[1] notably Macrocystis pyrifera.

Spawning occurs throughout the year, and males guard nest sites by actively defending them from predators. The nests are found at depths of 10–20 m and have been recorded up to 38 m.[2]

The tubesnout feeds on small planktonic crustaceans, including [amphipod]s, mysids, and crab larvae.

This species finds use as a denizen in public aquariums.


The tubesnout is found in shallow marine waters off the Pacific coast of North America to a depth of 30 m (98 ft), from Prince William Sound in Alaska to Rompiente, Baja California. The species inhabits rocky crevices, kelp beds, eelgrass, and areas with a sandy bottom substrate.[2]


  1. ^ a b Orr, J.W. & Pietsch, T.W. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  2. ^ a b Limbaugh, C. 1962. Life history and ecological notes on the Tubenose, Aulorhynchus flavidus, a hemibranch fish of western North America. Copeia 1962(3):549-555.