Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is located in the eastern Pacific, from San Francisco (California, USA) to San Antonio (central Chile) (Wisner and McMillan 1995).
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Eastern Pacific: off southern California, USA. Also Peru (Ref. 5530) and Chile (Ref. 27540).
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Eastern Pacific.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 650 mm TL
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Max. size

65.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 31276))
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found on the continental slopes at depths from 700-1,860 m (Wisner and McMillan 1995). The syntypes were collected in the Gulf of Panama at 1,334 m depth in water of 3.6°C on rocky bottom (Garman 1899). The sex ratio in the material analyzed by Wisner and McMillan (1995) was equal off southern California (n=220) but unequal near the mouth of the Gulf of California (n=136), 66% females and 34% males, and Costa Rica to northern Chile (n=54), 59% female to 41% male; no hermaphroditism was found in 320 specimens examined.

The copulatory organ is absent in this species. The gonads of hagfishes are situated in the peritoneal cavity. The ovary is found in the anterior portion of the gonad, and the testis is found in the posterior part. The animal becomes female if the cranial part of the gonad develops or male if the caudal part undergoes differentiation. If none develops, then the animal becomes sterile. If both anterior and posterior parts develop, then the animal becomes a functional hermaphrodite. However, hermaphroditism being characterised as functional needs to be validated by more reproduction studies (Patzner 1998).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; non-migratory; marine; depth range 700 - 1860 m (Ref. 31276)
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 651 - 797.5

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 651 - 797.5
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 700 - 1860m.
From 700 to 1860 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Copulatory organ absent. The gonads of hagfishes are situated in the peritoneal cavity. The ovary is found in the anterior portion of the gonad, and the testis is found in the posterior part. The animal becomes female if the cranial part of the gonad develops or male if the caudal part undergoes differentiation. If none develops, then the animal becomes sterile. If both anterior and posterior parts develop, then the animal becomes a functional hermaphrodite. However, hermaphroditism being characterised as functional needs to be validated by more reproduction studies (Ref. 51361 ).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Mincarone, M.M.

Reviewer/s
Polidoro, B., Knapp, L. & Carpenter, K.E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread in the Eastern Pacific, and is considered common. Although there may be some deep-sea trawl fisheries operating within at least part of the depth and distributional range of this species, there is no current indication of widespread population decline. It is listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The population for this species is known from many specimens collected from Southern California, Gulf of California, Costa Rica and Chile. There are also numerous records housed in museums. This species is known to be common, particularly along the northern part of its range but this is likely a sampling bias as this part of the distribution range has been heavily surveyed. Records are unreported along the western coast of South America.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no known direct threats to this species but it is exposed to deep-sea bottom trawling throughout its distribution range.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Marine Protected Areas in Southern California, Gulf of California and along the coast of Central America protect only very small parts of the species' range (<10%). More research needed on species' biology, population size and impact of deep-sea fishery.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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