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any of about 115 species of marine fish often placed with the lumpsuckers in the family Cyclopteridae, but sometimes separated as a distinct family, Liparidae (order Scorpaeniformes). Snailfish are small, growing to a maximum length of about 30 centimetres (12 inches). They are elongated, soft, tadpole-shaped fish with loose and scaleless, though sometimes prickly, skins. There is a long dorsal fin on the back and usually a sucking disk below the head. The disk is formed from the pelvic fins and is used for attachment to the bottom.