Chimaera argiloba 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Chimaeriformes Chimaeridae

Scientific Name: Chimaera argiloba Last, White & Pogonoski, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Whitefin Chimaera
Taxonomic Notes: In the past, the Whitefin Chimaera (Chimaera argiloba) has been confused with the northern Pacific Silver Chimaera (Chimaera phantasma), however the Whitefin Chimaera differs in some morphological traits and lacks the dark stripes that characterise the Silver Chimaera (Last et al. 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-18
Assessor(s): Theiss, S.M., Huveneers, C. & Ebert, D.A.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Contributor(s): Kyne, P.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
The Whitefin Chimaera (Chimaera argiloba) has a relatively restricted range on the continental slope off northwest Australia at depths of 370–520 m. Maximum size, including the caudal filament, is to at least 90 cm total length and 40 cm body length. Due to its abundance and an overlap in depth and range with benthic deepwater commercial trawl fisheries off the coast of Western Australia, this species is potentially taken as bycatch. Effort in these fisheries is however very low, and it is unlikely that these fisheries are severely effecting it, so it is assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Whitefin Chimaera is known off Western Australia and has a relatively confined distribution from northwest of Geraldton (280°116'S, 113°17'E) to the Rowley Shoals (18°02'S, 118°14 E) (Last et al. 2008). Possible conspecific specimens have been collected off eastern Indonesia and New Caledonia, but further analysis is needed to confirm species identification (White et al. 2006).­­
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):520
Upper depth limit (metres):370
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is abundant within its range (Last and Stevens 2009), however there are no details of population size, structure or trends.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This chimaera occurs on the continental slope at depths of 370–520 m (Last et al. 2008). There are no specific details on habitat. Little is known of the biology of this species, however it reaches a maximum size, including the caudal filament, of at least 90 cm total length and 40 cm body length (Last et al. 2008). Size at birth is unknown. Like other members of this family, it is most likely oviparous.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Whitefin Chimaera is not known to be utilized or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The Whitefin Chimaera is not commercially targeted, however a potential threat is incidental capture in benthic deepwater trawls targeting prawns and teleost fish off the coast of northwest Australia. The Commonwealth Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery and the North West Slope Trawl Fishery overlap with its range to the south and north, respectively. Both fisheries use trawl gear operating at depths greater than 200 m that may potentially capture this species, however fishing effort in both fisheries is relatively low (two and one active vessels in 2012-2013, respectively) (Marton and Mazur 2014a, 2014b) and they are unlikely to be severely effecting this species. Individuals caught in these fisheries may potentially be released alive, although post-release survival rate is unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

No conservation actions are currently in place for this species and information regarding the biology is required. There is no regular monitoring of bycatch in commercial fisheries and so catch and trend information, which is vital to inform management, are lacking. It is recommended that species-specific catch data are collected, recorded and reported. The range of the Whitefin Chimaera overlaps with some marine protected areas in the Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network.

Citation: Theiss, S.M., Huveneers, C. & Ebert, D.A. 2015. Chimaera argiloba. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T195427A68616928. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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