Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Burrows in muddy bottoms (Ref. 27121). Feeds mostly by scavenging on dead or disabled fish (Ref. 27121).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is located in southern Africa, most common from Walvis Bay (Namibia) to Cape Infanta (South Africa). A single specimen was recently trawled off Mozambique, from 25°52.9'S, 34°42.7'E to 25°54.1'S, 34.41.0'E, 557-564 m depth (Mincarone and Mwale, in press).

It is possible that the distribution range stretches further east from Cape Infanta up to Mozambique where a specimen has recently been recorded from a scientific survey. Little scientific surveys are conducted on the east coast of South Africa due to limited fishing activity. There is only a localized and small-scale crustacean fishery south of the Mozambique and South Africa border. As a result, no specimens have been collected between current eastward extent of distribution range and record collected off Mozambique.
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Southeast Atlantic: Namibia (Ref. 27121) and South Africa.
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Southeastern Atlantic: southern Africa.
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Southern Africa, most common from Walvis Bay (Namibia) to Cape Infanta (South Africa).

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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 400 mm TL
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Body elongated, its depth 4-6% TL. Rostrum variably triangular to bluntly rounded. Two nasal-sinus papillae aligned in the middorsal surface of the nasal sinus. Three pairs of barbels on head; the first two about equal in size (0.8-1.0% TL), the third one longer (1.2-1.7% TL). Seven pairs of gill pouches. Each gill pouch with efferent branchial ducts on either side combined into a single external gill aperture posterior to the gill pouches. Branchial ducts on the left side usually confluent with the pharyngocutaneous duct, forming a gill aperture larger than that of right side. Dental muscle overlies gill pouches 1-2. Ventral aorta branches at the second or third gill pouch. Ventral finfold progressively reducing from 2-4 mm (origin) to 1 mm high (cloaca), beginning within anterior 9% of trunk, extending backward to the cloaca. Caudal finfold thin, rounded, beginning immediately posterior to edge of cloaca, extending around tail to dorsal surface, ending about over cloaca. Body proportions (in percentage of TL): prebranchial length 26-31; trunk length 57-61; tail length 10-15; body width 3-5; body depth including VFF 4-7; body depth excluding VFF 4-6; body depth over cloaca 3-5; tail depth 3-5. Counts: multicusp pattern 2/2; anterior unicusps 7-9; posterior unicusps 7-10; total cusps 36-43. Prebranchial pores 26-35; no branchial pores; trunk pores 58-66; tail pores 9-13; total pores 92-111.

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Color

Color (in alcohol): Body medium brown; barbels, face, and ventral surface of prebranchial region occasionally pale; ventral finfold pale; caudal finfold lighter than body; all other parts the same color as body.

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Max. size

532 mm TL (Soto and Mincarone, 2004).

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is usually taken on muddy bottoms on the continental shelves and slopes at depths from 88-675 m. This species has its females maturing at 320-330 mm totall length (TL) (Fernholm 1981). According to Villanueva (1993), Myxine capensis accounted for 14.4% of the diet of 90 specimens of Octopus magnificus (Cephalopoda) caught off Namibia and South Africa; prey ranging in size from 21-31.5 cm TL.

This species burrows in muddy bottoms (Bianchi et al. 1993). It feeds mostly by scavenging on dead or disabled fish (Bianchi et al. 1993). The copulatory organ is absent for 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 175 - 460 m (Ref. 27121)
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Depth range based on 179 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 127 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 46 - 734
  Temperature range (°C): 4.456 - 12.092
  Nitrate (umol/L): 14.900 - 29.007
  Salinity (PPS): 34.336 - 35.031
  Oxygen (ml/l): 2.921 - 4.943
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.313 - 2.172
  Silicate (umol/l): 11.616 - 30.560

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 46 - 734

Temperature range (°C): 4.456 - 12.092

Nitrate (umol/L): 14.900 - 29.007

Salinity (PPS): 34.336 - 35.031

Oxygen (ml/l): 2.921 - 4.943

Phosphate (umol/l): 1.313 - 2.172

Silicate (umol/l): 11.616 - 30.560
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 175 - 460m.
From 175 to 460 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal. Found on muddy bottoms.
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Trophic Strategy

Burrows in muddy bottoms. Feeds mostly by scavenging on dead or disabled fish .
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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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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Myxine capensis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Myxine capensis

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


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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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
2011

Assessor/s
Mincarone, M.M.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread in southern Africa, and is considered common. It is likely that its distribution extends up to the south coast of Mozambique, but this needs to be confirmed. Although there are several 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. However, given that there are extensive trawling activities in this area, this species population should be monitored.
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Population

Population
This is known to be a common species but little is understood about its population levels.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no known direct threats to this species, but the western part of the species' distribution range directly overlaps with hake trawling activities. Fishery is destructive to this species' habitat and it is incidentally caught as by-catch. There are minimal threats in possible eastern part of range.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no conservation measures in place, but more research is needed on the species' biology, population size and impact of Hake fishery. Further scientific surveying is necessary along the eastern coastline of South Africa to verify the extent of its distribution range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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