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any of about 12 species of marine deepwater fishes of the family Macrorhamphosidae (order Gasterosteiformes), found in warm and temperate regions. Snipefishes are small, usually deep-bodied fishes that grow at most about 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches) long and are commonly silver, pink, or red. They have long, tubular snouts and often bear a partial coating of armour plates along the back. The dorsal fin contains several spines, one of which is usually very long; this spine, together with the tail, forms the handles of the "bellows" for which the fishes have been named