Nemichthys scolopaceus has an extremely elongate body that can reach up to 1.3 m in length. The body ends in a long narrow filament. Its jaws form a long and narrow snout with small teeth, although females have a very short snout. The dorsal, caudal and anal fins are joined together. Nemichthys scolopaceus can be recognised by its more or less pigmented dark brown body and its numerous fine teeth. The anal fin and tips of the pectoral fins are almost black in colour.
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