Nettastoma melanurum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Anguilliformes Nettastomatidae

Scientific Name: Nettastoma melanurum Rafinesque, 1810
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Blackfin Sorcerer
French Sorciére, Sorcière à Queue Noire
Spanish Pico de Pato
Hyoprorus messanensis Kölliker, 1853
Hyoprorus messinensis Kölliker, 1853
Leptocephalus longirostris Kaup, 1856
Leptocephalus urosema Lea, 1913
Muraenophis saga Risso, 1810
Muraenosaurus guentheri Osorio, 1909
Muraenosaurus güntheri Osorio, 1909
Murenophis saga Risso, 1810
Nettastoma melanura Rafinesque, 1810
Nettastoma mendax Facciolà, 1893
Nettastoma saga (Risso, 1810)
Taxonomic Notes: This species presents a superficial ressemblance to Facciolella oxyrhyncha.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2011-10-20
Assessor(s): Tighe, K.
Reviewer(s): Weller, S., Smith, S. & Polidoro, B.
This wide-ranging species is found in both the eastern and western Atlantic. It appears to be both common and abundant, and is found in a variety of habitats ranging from 37-1,647 m, although it is most abundant at depths of 800-1,400 m, and is less likely to be affected by coastal anthropogenic activity at these depths. This species is not the target of fishing effort, however it is taken and discarded as by-catch in Mediterranean deep-sea red shrimp fisheries. The accumulation of organochlorine compounds in the liver of this and other deep-sea species in the Mediterranean has been cited as a potential threat. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:In the eastern Atlantic this species is known from Portugal to the Gulf of Guinea, including the western Mediterranean, and has recently been recorded in the eastern Mediterranean (Basusta et al. 2002). In the western Atlantic this species has been recorded in the Gulf of Mexico to the Guianas and to southern Brazil (de Figueiredo et al. 2002). It is known to inhabit waters at depths ranging from 37-1,647 m.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Angola; Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Benin; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Brazil (Trindade); Cameroon; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cuba; Curaçao; Cyprus; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; France; French Guiana; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jamaica; Kuwait; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Malta; Martinique; Mauritania; Mexico; Monaco; Montenegro; Montserrat; Morocco; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Panama; Portugal (Azores, Madeira); Puerto Rico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sao Tomé and Principe; Senegal; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Slovenia; Spain (Canary Is.); Suriname; Syrian Arab Republic; Togo; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1647
Upper depth limit (metres):37
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:During sampling of submarine canyons, this species was most abundant at the relatively moderate depth of 604 m, versus shallower or deeper sampling stations, and was far more abundant outside than inside the canyon (Stefanescu et al. 1994). This species is caught with 71.0% frequency during the combined spring and summer Sicilian deep-water red shrimp trawl fishing seasons (Ragonese et al. 2001). This species was chosen as a model deep-sea species to study the accumulation of organochlorine compounds (DDTs and PCBs) because of its abundance in the Adriatic Sea (Storelli and Perrone 2010). This species is moderately common in museum collection records (FishNet2 accessed 13 July 2011). In south Sardinian waters this species displayed a high frequency of occurrence (90%) and was the third most numerically dominant species characterizing an assemblage of fishes ranging from depths of 720–1,099 m (10.20% abundance of the assemblage; Follesa et al. 2011). This species is collected relatively often in the eastern North Atlantic (Merrett and Saldanha 1985). In eastern Ionian Sea, this species was collected with 84.6% frequency at 500-700 m, 89.5% frequency at 700-900 m, and 76.9% frequency at 900-1,200 m (Mytilineou et al. 2005).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This bathydemersal species occurs in holes on muddy bottoms of continental slope. This species exhibits a marked nycthemeral rhythm; it burrows in the sediment by day and emerges by night to become a dominant component of the nocturnal assemblage (Carpentieri et al. 2005). It is considered a benthic scavenger and a sit-and-wait predator (Tecchio 2012). It feeds mainly on crustaceans (Saldanha 1986) and preys preferentially on decapods, siphonophores and pyrosomids (Carrassón and Cartes 2002). This species is most abundant at intermediate depths between 800 to 1,400 m (Moranta et al. 1998, Stefanescu et al. 1994). Leptocephali are widespread in occurrence, covering almost all of the adult range (Merrett and Saldanha 1985).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is currently no information for the uses of N. melanurum although it is likely not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is not commercially important. This species is caught and discarded in the deep-water bottom-trawl Sicilian red shrimp fishery (Ragonese et al. 2001). Studies of PCB/DDT accumulation in the liver of this species in the Mediterranean revealed concentrations which reached those encountered in marine organisms at higher levels in the trophic chain (Storelli and Perrone 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for N. melanurum.

Citation: Tighe, K. 2015. Nettastoma melanurum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T190431A1951675. . Downloaded on 24 March 2018.
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