|Scientific Name:||Myxine capensis|
|Species Authority:||Regan, 1913|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Reviewer(s):||Polidoro, B., Knapp, L. & Carpenter, K.E.|
This species is widespread in southern Africa, and is considered common. It is likely that its distribution extends up to the south coast of Mozambique, but this needs to be confirmed. Although there are several trawl fisheries operating within at least part of the depth and distributional range of this species, there is no current indication of widespread population decline. It is listed as Least Concern. However, given that there are extensive trawling activities in this area, this species population should be monitored.
|Range Description:||This species is located in southern Africa, most common from Walvis Bay (Namibia) to Cape Infanta (South Africa). A single specimen was recently trawled off Mozambique, from 25°52.9'S, 34°42.7'E to 25°54.1'S, 34.41.0'E, 557-564 m depth (Mincarone and Mwale, in press).
It is possible that the distribution range stretches further east from Cape Infanta up to Mozambique where a specimen has recently been recorded from a scientific survey. Little scientific surveys are conducted on the east coast of South Africa due to limited fishing activity. There is only a localized and small-scale crustacean fishery south of the Mozambique and South Africa border. As a result, no specimens have been collected between current eastward extent of distribution range and record collected off Mozambique.
Native:Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:||
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This is known to be a common species but little is understood about its population levels.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||
This species is usually taken on muddy bottoms on the continental shelves and slopes at depths from 88-675 m. This species has its females maturing at 320-330 mm totall length (TL) (Fernholm 1981). According to Villanueva (1993), Myxine capensis accounted for 14.4% of the diet of 90 specimens of Octopus magnificus (Cephalopoda) caught off Namibia and South Africa; prey ranging in size from 21-31.5 cm TL.
This species burrows in muddy bottoms (Bianchi et al. 1993). It feeds mostly by scavenging on dead or disabled fish (Bianchi et al. 1993). The copulatory organ is absent for 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).
|Major Threat(s):||There are no known direct threats to this species, but the western part of the species' distribution range directly overlaps with hake trawling activities. Fishery is destructive to this species' habitat and it is incidentally caught as by-catch. There are minimal threats in possible eastern part of range.|
|Conservation Actions:||There are no conservation measures in place, but more research is needed on the species' biology, population size and impact of Hake fishery. Further scientific surveying is necessary along the eastern coastline of South Africa to verify the extent of its distribution range.|
|Citation:||Mincarone, M.M. 2013. Myxine capensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.|