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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Juveniles mesopelagic, adults benthopelagic. Presumably feed on crustaceans.
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Western Atlantic: Labrador Shelf to Gulf of Mexico
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Throughout the world ocean in tropical and temperate latitudes (Ref. 9842). Eastern Atlantic: one specimen from off Cape Bojador south of the Canary Islands; unrecorded specimens taken between Guinea and Angola. Western Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951) to the Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 29076). Western Indian Ocean: off Madagascar. Eastern Pacific: one specimen captured off northern central California, USA (Ref. 2850). Western Pacific: Japan to New Caledonia, Australia (Ref. 7300) and New Zealand (Ref. 5755).
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Circumglobal in tropical through cold temperate seas, including Hawaiian Islands.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 19 - 22; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 15 - 18
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Size

Maximum size: 345 mm SL
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Max. size

39.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5951))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Juveniles mesopelagic, adults benthopelagic. Presumably feeds on crustaceans. A rare deepsea fish.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Mouth large, maxillary extending far beyond eye (Ref. 559) Lower jaw projecting beyond the upper (Ref. 559). Teeth on both jaws broad villiform bands (Ref. 559). Body and each fin with minute spinules, the surface velvety to the touch. Lateral line opening as distinct pores (Ref. 559).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Marine

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Known from seamounts and knolls
  • Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication.
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nektonic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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juveniles mesopelagic, adults benthopelagic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 120 - 2000 m (Ref. 50610)
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Depth range based on 21 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 10 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.7 - 1420
  Temperature range (°C): 2.964 - 25.146
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.009 - 41.984
  Salinity (PPS): 34.464 - 36.447
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.552 - 4.919
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.115 - 2.917
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.403 - 133.284

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.7 - 1420

Temperature range (°C): 2.964 - 25.146

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.009 - 41.984

Salinity (PPS): 34.464 - 36.447

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.552 - 4.919

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.115 - 2.917

Silicate (umol/l): 1.403 - 133.284
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 300 - 2000m.
From 300 to 2000 meters.

Habitat: benthopelagic. Rare species (Ref. 4249). Juveniles mesopelagic, adults benthopelagic. Presumably feeds on crustaceans.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Found on the continental slope (Ref. 75154). Juveniles mesopelagic, adults benthopelagic. Presumably feed on crustaceans.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Diet

Feeds on crustaceans
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Barbourisia rufa

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 4 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACACGCTGATTTTTCTCGACCAACCACAAAGACATTGGCACCCTTTATCTAGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGCATAGTCGGCACAGCCTTA---AGCCTTCTCATCCGAGCAGAGCTAAGCCAGCCAGGTGCCCTTTTAGGGGAC---GATCAAATCTACAACGTCATTGTTACAGCGCACGCCTTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATTGGGGGGTTTGGAAATTGATTAATTCCCCTAATG---ATTGGAGCCCCAGACATAGCATTCCCTCGAATAAATAATATGAGTTTTTGGCTCCTACCTCCATCCTTCTTACTGCTCCTGGCCTCTTCTGGGGTAGAAGCAGGCGCTGGGACAGGATGAACAGTTTACCCGCCACTTGCGGGCAATCTTGCCCACGCAGGAGCCTCAGTAGACCTA---ACTATTTTCTCCCTCCACTTAGCAGGAGTCTCTTCAATTCTAGGGGCTATTAACTTTATTACAACTATTATTAACATAAAACCCCCAGCAATTTCCCAATATCAAACCCCCCTGTTTGTGTGATCTGTACTAATTACAGCCGTTCTTCTCCTCCTCTCCCTACCCGTTCTTGCAGCC---GGCATCACCATACTATTAACCGACCGTAACCTTAACACGACCTTCTTTGACCCTTCAGGAGGAGGTGATCCCATCCTATATCAACACCTGTTTTGATTCTTCGGGCACCCAGAAGTCTACATTTTAATTCTTCCAGGATTTGGAATAATCTCCCACATCGTCGCCTACTATTCTGGTAAAAAA---GAACCCTTCGGCTATATAGGAATAGTATGGGCCATGATGGCCATCGGCCTACTCGGGTTTATCGTATGGGCCCACCACATGTTTACAGTCGGTATAGATGTAGACACACGGGCCTACTTTACATCAGCTACAATAATTATTGCCATCCCAACAGGAGTAAAAGTTTTTAGCTGACTA---GCCACACTGCACGGTGGG---TCCATCAAATGGGAAACTCCACTTTTATGAGCTCTGGGATTTATTTTCCTATTTACAGTAGGAGGACTCACAGGAATTGTCCTAGCCAACTCCTCGCTAGACATCGTGCTCCACGACACCTACTATGTAGTTGCCCACTTCCATTATGTC---CTTTCTATGGGTGCTGTCTTTGCCATCATGGCCGCCTTTGTACACTGATTCCCCCTATTTTCAGGATATACACTGCACAGTACATGGACTAAAATTCACTTTGGGGTTATATTCGTGGGGGTTAACCTCACATTCTTCCCACAACATTTCCTAGGCCTAGCGGGCATGCCTCGA---CGATATTCAGACTACCCAGACGCCTACACC---CTGTGAAACACTGTATCCTCCATCGGTTCGTTAGTCTCCCTTGTAGCAGTAATTATATTCTTATTTATTATTTGAGAAGCATTCGCTGCCAAACGAGAAGTC---CTATCAGTAGAACTAACCACAACTAAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Barbourisia rufa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
  • Paxton, J.R. 1999 Barbourisiidae. Redvelvet whalefish. p. 2205. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the WCP. Vol. 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO, Rome.   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=9842 External link.
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Wikipedia

Velvet whalefish

The velvet whalefish, Barbourisia rufa, is a deep-sea whalefish, the sole known member of its family Barbourisiidae. It is found throughout the tropical and temperate parts of the world's oceans, mainly in the Pacific near Japan and New Zealand, at depths of 300 to 2,000 m. This species seems very closely related to some flabby whalefishes and it was initially believed to belong into that family by some.[1] They have been found from 65°N to 40°S in the Atlantic, 50°N to 50°S in the Pacific, and 5–20°S in the Indian Ocean.[2]

Like other whalefishes, it has a generally whale-shaped body, small pectoral and pelvic fins, and dorsal and anal fins set far back. Body and fins are covered with tiny spicules, resulting in a velvety feel that inspires the name. Color is an overall vivid geranium red or dark orange. The mouth is large, extending well behind the eyes, has a white interior, and the lower jaw projects beyond the upper jaw. The largest recorded specimen was 34.5 cm; another fairly large specimen weighed 456 grams.

Little is known of their habits, but they are believed to feed on crustaceans. The larvae metamorphose into the adult form at about 7 mm standard length. Larvae and immatures inhabit the upper water layers, down to some dozen meters; larvae before notochord flexion/metamorphosis in particular can sometimes be found right at the surface. As opposed to adults, they still have a small swim bladder.[2]

Young whalefish make nightly vertical migrations into the lower mesopelagic zone to feed on copepods. When males make the transition to adults, they develop a massive liver, and then their jaws fuse shut. They no longer eat, but continue to metabolise the energy stored in their liver.[3][4]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ E.g. Myers (1946)
  2. ^ a b Paxton et al. (2001)
  3. ^ http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/g06648352k5m1562/
  4. ^ "Scientists solve mystery: 3 fish are all the same". January 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-22. [dead link]

References[edit]

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