Catalog Number: USNM 49981
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Misaki, Honshu, Japan, Pacific
Habitat and Ecology
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).
The longevity of this species is estimated to be 17 from specimens in aquariums (M. Mincarone pers. comm.). The generation length is therefore conservatively estimated to be eight years.
Depth range (m): 563 - 563
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From 500 to 800 meters.
Life History and Behavior
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Mixed hagfish landings data in this region between 1980 and 1995 shows a 70% decline in total hagfish catch (Gorbman et al. 1990; Honma 1998) and effort has remained consistent through this period, likely as a result of low abundance levels. The fishery has not ceased despite low population levels.
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