Myxine glutinosa 

Scope: Mediterranean
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Myxini Myxiniformes Myxinidae

Scientific Name: Myxine glutinosa Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic Hagfish, Borer, Common Hag, Hagfish, Northern Hagfish
French Myxine, Myxine du Nord
Spanish Anguila Babosa, Babosa de Mar, Pez Moco
Gasterobranchus glutinosus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Gastrobranchus coecus Bloch, 1792
Myxine glutinosa ssp. australis Putnam, 1874
Myxine glutinosa ssp. limosa Putnam, 1874
Myxine glutinosa ssp. septentrionalis Putnam, 1874
Myxine limosa Girard, 1859
Petromyzon myxine Walbaum, 1792

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2007-11-15
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Papakonstantinou, C., Golani, D., Massuti, E., Palmeri, A., Molinari, A. & Keskin, Ç.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Harwell, H., Polidoro, B. & Carpenter, K.
This species has a relatively small range in the Mediterranean Sea, with only a few records. However, it is not commercially fished and there are no known major threats. Therefore it is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is present in the northeastern Atlantic from Murmansk, Russia to southwestern Sweden, including western Ireland and eastern UK but not in most of the Baltic and North Seas.

In the Mediterranean Sea (Jennings 2000, FAO 1987), records include Algerian coast (E. Massuti pers. obs. 2007). It is apparently restricted to waters off the coast of north-west Africa. It is absent in the Black Sea.
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Belgium; Denmark; France; Gibraltar; Ireland; Italy; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Russian Federation; Spain; Sweden; Tunisia; United Kingdom
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1200
Upper depth limit (metres):40
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are only a few records of this species from the Mediterranean Sea.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a demersal, non-migratory species that can be found on muddy bottoms, where it hides in the mud. Its slime is used for defence. It feeds chiefly on dead and dying fish of varying species by boring into the body and consuming the viscera and musculature. It is mainly nocturnal. It was caught off the Algerian coast at depths of around 600 m (E. Massuti pers. obs. 2007).

Its eggs are few in number (19-30) and large (20-25 mm). The horny shell has a cluster of anchor-tipped filaments at each end. A copulatory organ is 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 (Patzner 1998).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not commercially fished.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is not commercially fished. There are no known major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No specific conservation measures are in place for this species.

Citation: Papakonstantinou, C., Golani, D., Massuti, E., Palmeri, A., Molinari, A. & Keskin, Ç. 2011. Myxine glutinosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T196057A8988323. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided