Eptatretus mendozai 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Myxini Myxiniformes Myxinidae

Scientific Name: Eptatretus mendozai Hensley, 1985
Taxonomic Notes: Fernholm and Hubbs (1981) discussed and presented a photograph of a specimen (USNM 218400) named "Eptatretus sp. C" off the north coast of Haiti, which they were hesitant to describe as new until more material become available. Hensley (1985) re-examined this specimen and concluded that, in spite of some meristic variations, it could be identified as E. mendozai.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-11-10
Assessor(s): Mincarone, M.M.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B., Knapp, L. & Carpenter, K.E.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Lutz, M.L., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J., Livingston, F., Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M.
This species is known only from 12 specimens from Puerto Rico and Haiti. There are no known threats likely to affect this species, given its deep water habitat (720-1,100 m). It is listed as Least Concern. However, more research is needed on this species population, biology, life history, and potential threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is located off the southwest coast of Puerto Rico and probably off the north coast of Haiti (Hensley 1985).
Countries occurrence:
Haiti; Puerto Rico
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1100
Upper depth limit (metres):720
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population information for this species is only known from 12 specimens.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found on mud and clay bottoms, at depths from 720-1,100 m. According to Hensley (1985), of 11 specimens examined, eight females (309-450 mm) were mature (contained vitellogenic oocytes and/or atretic material indicating previous vitellogenesis) and inactive, containing oocytes of 0.2-1.5 mm. Oocytes of 1.0-1.5 were becoming ellipsoid. This probably reflects an early stage of oocyte maturation. Three males (350-384 mm) were mature, containing cysts in various stages of maturation but very few spermatozoa. The copulatory organ is absent in this species. 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).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is a deep water species and no known threats currently exist.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place, but more research is needed on the species' biology, population size, distribution and impacts.

Classifications [top]

11. Marine Deep Benthic -> 11.1. Marine Deep Benthic - Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200-4,000m) -> 11.1.2. Soft Substrate

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
0. Root -> 4. Other

Bibliography [top]

Fernholm, B. and Hubbs, C.L. 1981. Western Atlantic hagfishes of the genus Eptatretus (Myxinidae) with description of two new species. Fishery Bulletin 79(1): 69-83.

Hensley, D.A. 1985. Eptatretus mendozai, a new species of hagfish (Myxinidae) from off the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. Copeia 4: 865-869.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2017).

Patzner, R.A. 1998. Gonads and reproduction in hagfishes. In: J.M. Jørgensen, J.P. Lomholt, R.E. Weber, and H. Malte (eds), The biology of hagfishes, pp. 378-395. Chapman & Hall, London.

Citation: Mincarone, M.M. 2011. Eptatretus mendozai. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T154797A4635708. . Downloaded on 22 June 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