Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is found along the southern coasts of Chile and Argentina within and adjacent to the Straits of Magellan, Beagle Channel, and other channel systems around Tierra del Fuego, including Isla de los Estados and Cape Horn (Wisner and McMillan 1995).
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Southwest Atlantic: Straits of Magellan, southern Chile and southern Argentina (Ref. 4537).
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Straits of Magellan; Tierra del Fuego; s.coasts of Chile and Argentina.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 659 mm TL
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Max. size

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

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is usually found on muddy and sandy bottoms in shallow coastal waters, at depths from 3-146 m. Of 256 specimens examined by Wisner and McMillan (1995), 171 (67%) were female, 48 (19%) male and 37 (14%) hermaphroditic. Numbers and sizes of large eggs range from 36 (20 x 6 mm) in a female of 550 mm to 17 (26 x 9mm) in one of 475 mm.

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

demersal; non-migratory; marine; depth range 30 - 150 m (Ref. 4537)
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Depth: 30 - 150m.
From 30 to 150 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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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 affinis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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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 only known from southern Argentina and Chile, where it may be abundant. Although it is found in relatively shallow waters there is little fishing activity within its range. It is listed as Least Concern. However, this species should be carefully monitored, as it has a restricted range and a crustacean trap fishery is opening up within the Straits of Magellan, which will increase its vulnerability to capture as bycatch.
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Population

Population
The population is likely to be abundant for this species but this is based on 256 specimens collected by Wisner and McMillan (1995) through scientific surveys. No specimens have been recorded as bycatch but it is highly possible they are incidentally caught. There are no indications of population trends.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no known threats to this species. A crustacean trap fishery has recently opened up in the Straits of Magellan but the extent and severity of its activities are not yet known (R. Meléndez pers. comm.). Very little fishing occurs in the Beagle Channel due to the volatile nature of the area. Fishing activity is only occurring within 20% of its currently known distribution range.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no known conservation measures taken to protect this species. More research is needed on this species' biology, population size, distribution and impact of fishing activities.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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