Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Solitary (Ref. 26340). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs are encased in horny shells (Ref. 205). Unlikely to be seen by divers since this ratfish lives in very deep water (Ref. 26938).
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Distribution

Range Description

May be more widespread in deep waters throughout the Caribbean and recent captures from Columbia seem to support the hypothesis that this species may be more widespread off northern South America. Based on the current known range it is also possible this species occurs off Central America; however, no captures have been reported. May occur in deeper waters but as very little deepwater fishing occurs in this region at present there is no information available on possible distribution of this species below the known depth range.
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Western Central Atlantic: off Matanzas Bay, Cuba (Ref. 26938) and Jamaica.
  • Bunkley-Williams, L. and E.H. Williams Jr. 2004 New locality, depth, and size records and species character modifications of some Caribbean deep-reef/shallow slope fishes and a new host and locality record for the Chimaera Cestodarian. Caribb. J. Sci. 40(1):88-119. (Ref. 51158)
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Western Atlantic: Cuba, Puerto Rico and northern Lesser Antilles.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 1
  • Smith, C.L. 1997 National Audubon Society field guide to tropical marine fishes of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 720 p. (Ref. 26938)
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Size

Maximum size: 750 mm TL
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Max. size

75.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 26938))
  • Smith, C.L. 1997 National Audubon Society field guide to tropical marine fishes of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 720 p. (Ref. 26938)
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Diagnostic Description

Rounded snout; head with seam-like sensory grooves on head; pectoral fins large; first dorsal fin with a long, sharp spine; a separate anal fin, not extending past the level of end of second dorsal fin. Curved club-shaped appendage between eyes in males. Lateral line canals in open grooves (Ref. 26938). Upper surface silvery gray, lower surface white (Ref. 6902).
  • Smith, C.L. 1997 National Audubon Society field guide to tropical marine fishes of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 720 p. (Ref. 26938)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A deepwater species, known to occur at depths of 270 to 450 m (including at 234 to 360 m off Colombia). May be more abundant at greater depths (Didier 2002). Off Columbia this species is collected from steep rocky slopes indicating this may be a unique habitat for aggregation of this species (Caldas et al. in prep).

Maximum length ~80 cm TL. Sexual maturity in males and females probably reached at ~40 cm body length (BDL). Oviparous, but nothing is known of reproductive biology.

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (body length): ~40 cm BDL (estimate) (both male & female).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length): ~80 cm TL.
Size at birth (cm): Unknown.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Unknown.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 180 - 900 m (Ref. 51158)
  • Bunkley-Williams, L. and E.H. Williams Jr. 2004 New locality, depth, and size records and species character modifications of some Caribbean deep-reef/shallow slope fishes and a new host and locality record for the Chimaera Cestodarian. Caribb. J. Sci. 40(1):88-119. (Ref. 51158)
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 274 - 448
  Temperature range (°C): 12.080 - 12.080
  Nitrate (umol/L): 18.839 - 18.839
  Salinity (PPS): 35.431 - 35.431
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.077 - 3.077
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.188 - 1.188
  Silicate (umol/l): 7.938 - 7.938

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 274 - 448
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 360 - 900m.
From 360 to 900 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous (Ref. 205).
  • Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen 1966 Modes of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p. (Ref. 205)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Chimaera cubana

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Dagit, D.D. & Caldas, J.P.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L. & Compagno, L.J.V. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
A regional endemic restricted to the Western Central Atlantic, specifically the Caribbean off Cuba, Puerto Rico, the lesser Antilles and Columbia. This species may be more widespread in the Caribbean; however information is currently unavailable with regard to possible captures off other countries of northern South America and Central America. Known from 234 to 360 m depth off Colombia, but occurs in a wider depth range (270 to 450 m) in other parts of the Caribbean, and perhaps even in deeper waters. Not commercially targeted or utilized but potentially threatened as bycatch in deepwater longline fisheries off Columbia. At present this species seems to occur at the limit or just outside the depth range of most fisheries in the region. Nothing is known of population size, structure or life history although recent captures from Columbia indicate the aggregation of this species in specific habitats perhaps for feeding or reproduction. More information on captures throughout the range is needed and it is recommended that efforts be made to collect basic data on all captures in an effort to increase understanding of the population and life history trends.
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Population

Population
Nothing is known of population size or structure. Adult males are rarely captured indicating that they may occur in deeper waters or outside the currently known range. The recent collection of several specimens from Quitasueño Bank off Columbia indicates that this species may occur in large aggregations in specific habitats (Caldas et al. in prep).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Not currently known to be commercially fished, but is caught as bycatch in the bottom longline snapper/grouper fishery off Columbia. Deepsea fishing by longline poses a potential threat throughout its range due to capture of this species as bycatch; however at present this species occurs at the limit or just beyond the depth range of most deepwater fisheries in the area. At present benthic trawling does not appear to pose a large threat as it is not a common fishing method in the region; however, in the future habitat destruction and threats to the population may occur due to benthic trawling in some parts of the Caribbean if effort increases. Other steep rocky slopes may be untrawlable and thus serve as refugia for the species.
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Data deficient (DD)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Not currently managed in any part of the range. Currently any incidental bycatch is released and not reported. A record of all captures including basic data on sex, size, and depth is recommended in order to obtain initial basic data on population and life history trends.

The development and implementation of management plans (national and/or regional e.g., under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA?Sharks) are required to facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Cuban chimaera

The Cuban chimaera (Chimaera cubana) is a species of fish in the Chimaeridae family. It is found in Colombia, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Its natural habitat is open seas. It is threatened by habitat loss.

References

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