Myxine fernholmi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Myxini Myxiniformes Myxinidae

Scientific Name: Myxine fernholmi Wisner & McMillan, 1995

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-11-12
Assessor(s): Mincarone, M.M.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B., Knapp, L. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is only known from four specimens from the southwestern Atlantic. Observations from scientific surveys suggest that this fish is abundant but this cannot be confirmed until proper identification is conducted. Although extensive trawling occurs around the Falklands Islands, recent restrictions have limited the number of boats and depth at which trawls are operation. Similarly, few specimens of this species are being recorded in in bycatch. Currently it is listed as Least Concern, however more information is needed on this species distribution, population status, life history, biology, and impact of any potential major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is located around the Falkland Islands and Burdwood Bank. One specimen (SIO 90-139) was collected off San Antonio (central Chile), at 33°39'S, 72°09.5'W (Wisner and McMillan 1995).
Countries occurrence:
Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southwest; Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1480
Upper depth limit (metres):135
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is only known from 4 specimens for this species: three specimens are from around the Falklands Islands and only one specimen is from San Antonio in Central Chile (Wisner and McMillan 1995).

It is worth noting that during a deep-sea investigation on the scavenging fauna of the Patagonian slope (900-1,750 m), east of Falkland Islands, high density of hagfishes were recorded by Collins et al. (1999). Using a deep-sea camera, hagfish were seen during six of the 10 experiments, between depths from 900-1,212 m. The absolute number of specimens was hard to determine, but over 200 were visible in single frames (45 m²). According to Collins et al. (1999), species identification was not possible, though it is likely that they were Myxine fernholmi, distinguished by a prominent ventral finfold that was clearly visible in the photographs; Myxine knappi, also reported from Falkland Islands, has a very small ventral finfold. However, it is possible that more than one species has been sampled.

According to the footage, it is suggested that this species is common.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found on upper slopes at depths from 135-400 m (Falkland Islands), and also at bathyal zone from 1,170-1,480 m depth (off San Antonio). Maximum size: 846 mm total length (TL) (Wisner and McMillan 1995).

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): There are no known direct threats to this species. However, bottom finfish trawlers that trawl from 200-1,500 m depth (Moore 1999) are operating around the Falklands Islands, but the majority of demersal trawlers in the region are restricted to operating over shelf waters (<200m depth), and the number of boats operating within the 200 nautical mile Falklands Conservation Zone is limited to about 200 vessels per year (Coggan et al. 1996).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place, but more research is needed on this species' biology, population size, distribution and the impact of finfish trawling activities.

Citation: Mincarone, M.M. 2011. Myxine fernholmi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T196054A8998984. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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