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Chimaera cubana

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CHIMAERIFORMES CHIMAERIDAE

Scientific Name: Chimaera cubana
Species Authority: Howell Rivero, 1936
Common Name/s:
English Cuban Chimaera
French Chimère De Cuba
Spanish Mariposa, Quimera Cubano
Taxonomic Notes: Identified as C. monstrosa by Poey (1866). Distinguished from all other members of the genus by preopercular and oral lateral line canals that branch separately from the infraorbital canal with a prominent space between their respective branch origins (except C. phantasma which is further distinguished by a wavy lateral line canal along the entire length of the trunk) (Didier 2002, Caldas et al. in prep.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor/s: Dagit, D.D. & Caldas, J.P.
Reviewer/s: Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L. & Compagno, L.J.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
A regional endemic restricted to the Western Central Atlantic, specifically the Caribbean off Cuba, Puerto Rico, the lesser Antilles and Columbia. This species may be more widespread in the Caribbean; however information is currently unavailable with regard to possible captures off other countries of northern South America and Central America. Known from 234 to 360 m depth off Colombia, but occurs in a wider depth range (270 to 450 m) in other parts of the Caribbean, and perhaps even in deeper waters. Not commercially targeted or utilized but potentially threatened as bycatch in deepwater longline fisheries off Columbia. At present this species seems to occur at the limit or just outside the depth range of most fisheries in the region. Nothing is known of population size, structure or life history although recent captures from Columbia indicate the aggregation of this species in specific habitats perhaps for feeding or reproduction. More information on captures throughout the range is needed and it is recommended that efforts be made to collect basic data on all captures in an effort to increase understanding of the population and life history trends.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: May be more widespread in deep waters throughout the Caribbean and recent captures from Columbia seem to support the hypothesis that this species may be more widespread off northern South America. Based on the current known range it is also possible this species occurs off Central America; however, no captures have been reported. May occur in deeper waters but as very little deepwater fishing occurs in this region at present there is no information available on possible distribution of this species below the known depth range.
Countries:
Native:
Colombia; Cuba; Puerto Rico
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Nothing is known of population size or structure. Adult males are rarely captured indicating that they may occur in deeper waters or outside the currently known range. The recent collection of several specimens from Quitasueño Bank off Columbia indicates that this species may occur in large aggregations in specific habitats (Caldas et al. in prep).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A deepwater species, known to occur at depths of 270 to 450 m (including at 234 to 360 m off Colombia). May be more abundant at greater depths (Didier 2002). Off Columbia this species is collected from steep rocky slopes indicating this may be a unique habitat for aggregation of this species (Caldas et al. in prep).

Maximum length ~80 cm TL. Sexual maturity in males and females probably reached at ~40 cm body length (BDL). Oviparous, but nothing is known of reproductive biology.

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (body length): ~40 cm BDL (estimate) (both male & female).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length): ~80 cm TL.
Size at birth (cm): Unknown.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Unknown.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Not currently known to be commercially fished, but is caught as bycatch in the bottom longline snapper/grouper fishery off Columbia. Deepsea fishing by longline poses a potential threat throughout its range due to capture of this species as bycatch; however at present this species occurs at the limit or just beyond the depth range of most deepwater fisheries in the area. At present benthic trawling does not appear to pose a large threat as it is not a common fishing method in the region; however, in the future habitat destruction and threats to the population may occur due to benthic trawling in some parts of the Caribbean if effort increases. Other steep rocky slopes may be untrawlable and thus serve as refugia for the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Not currently managed in any part of the range. Currently any incidental bycatch is released and not reported. A record of all captures including basic data on sex, size, and depth is recommended in order to obtain initial basic data on population and life history trends.

The development and implementation of management plans (national and/or regional e.g., under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA?Sharks) are required to facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region.
Citation: Dagit, D.D. & Caldas, J.P. 2006. Chimaera cubana. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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