Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Of 150 investigated specimens, 76% were females, 23% were hermaphrodites, and 6% were males (Ref 31276).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is located in the eastern Pacific, from 33°N to 22°S. It can be found off North America, from San Diego (USA) to Baja California Sur (Mexico); off Central America, south of Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica); and off South America, from Talara (Peru) to about Tocopilla (Chile).
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Southeast Pacific: off the west coast of North and South America.
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Eastern Pacific.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 522 mm TL
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Max. size

52.2 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 31276))
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Type Information

Paratype for Myxine hubbsi Wisner & Mcmillan
Catalog Number: USNM 325214
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Mexico, Pacific
Depth (m): 1830 to 1830
  • Paratype: Wisner, R. L. & Mcmillan, C. B. 1995. Fishery Bulletin. 93 (3): 536.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is a deep-sea species living on the lower slopes and abyssal plains at depths from 1,100-2,440 m (Wisner and McMillan 1995). The sex ratio of the specimens examined by Wisner and McMillan (1995) was extremely unbalanced. Of 150 specimens sexed 114 (76%) were females, 35 (23%) hermaphroditic and six (0.4%) males. From 7-15 large eggs, ranging between 17 x 6 mm and 24 x 8 mm, occur in eight females (415-450 mm); all other females have small eggs. The largest number of eggs (15) was in a female of 440 mm.

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 1100 - 2440 m (Ref. 31276)
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1830 - 1830
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 1100 - 2440m.
From 1100 to 2440 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
2011

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
This species is a deep-water species that is abundant across a wide range. Actual population levels are known from 150 museum specimens.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no known direct threats to this species but it is potentially vulnerable to deep sea trawling activity in same parts of its depth and distributional 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 this species' biology, population size, distribution and impact of deep-sea trawling activities on the species (bycatch) and its habitats.
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