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Eptatretus lopheliae

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MYXINI MYXINIFORMES MYXINIDAE

Scientific Name: Eptatretus lopheliae
Species Authority: Fernholm & Quattrini, 2008

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-10
Assessor(s): Mincarone, M.M.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B., Knapp, L. & Carpenter, K.E.
Justification:
This species is known from four specimens taken off the coast of North and South Carolina, USA. It is a deepwater species, as specimens were recorded between 382 and 700 m. Given its association with deep, cold water corals, this species habitat may be threatened by extensive deep sea trawling fisheries operating within its distribution and depth range. It is listed as Data Deficient. More research is needed on this species distribution, population, biology, life history, and impact of potential threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Western North Atlantic, off North Carolina. Video observations also indicated a distribution off South Carolina (Fernholm and Quattrini 2008).
Countries:
Native:
United States (North Carolina, South Carolina)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population information is known only from three type specimens and video observations.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found on deep coral bank areas, approximately 75 km off Cape Lookout, North Carolina, at depths from 382-442 m. This series of deep corals banks, are the northernmost banks along the southeastern United States slope. Topographic highs rise 80-100 m above the seafloor, are topped with bushes (up to 3-5 m in height) of live and dead cold-water coral, Lophelia pertusa, and are surrounded at the bases by soft substrate mixed with coral or rock rubble. Mean bottom temperatures in the Cape Lookout coral areas ranged from 5.8-11.0°C and mean bottom salinities from 35.0-35.4 ppt. Video observations in the Stetson area (560-700 m depth), off South Carolina, also indicate association with solitary cup corals, soft corals, sponges, and Enallopsammia profunda (Fernholm and Quattrini, 2008). All captured and observed specimens were small in size and sexual maturity is reached at about 200 mm total length (TL).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats to this species. However given the species' strong association with cold water corals, deep sea trawling could potentially have significant impacts. A number of trawling fisheries operate within its distribution.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place for this species, but more research is needed on its biology, population size, distribution and impact of deep-sea trawling activities.

Citation: Mincarone, M.M. 2013. Eptatretus lopheliae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 July 2014.
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