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Myxine glutinosa  Linnaeus, 1758

Atlantic hagfish
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Myxine glutinosa   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Myxine glutinosa (Atlantic hagfish)
Myxine glutinosa
Picture by Flescher, D.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Myxini (hagfishes) > Myxiniformes (Hagfishes) > Myxinidae (Hagfishes) > Myxininae
Etymology: Myxine: Greek, myxinos, word used by Linne, slime fish (1846) (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; demersal; non-migratory; depth range 30 - 1200 m (Ref. 31276).   Temperate; 72°N - 25°N, 79°W - 41°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 25 - ? cm
Max length : 80.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); common length :40 cm TL (female)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Jawless mouth, single nasal aperture, only a single pair of external gill openings, no operculum or covering fold of skin. Grayish or reddish brown above, either plain. Variations in color correspond to the color of the sea bottom.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North Atlantic: Murmansk to the Mediterranean Sea; Greenland to USA. Absent in eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. Only hagfish in the Northeast Atlantic.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found on muddy bottoms where they hide in the mud. Slime is used for defense. Feeds chiefly on dead and dying fish of varying species by boring into the body and consuming viscera and musculature. Chiefly nocturnal. Its eggs are few in number about 19-30 and large (20-25 mm), the horny shell has a cluster of anchor-tipped filaments at each end.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Copulatory organ 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 (Ref. 51361 ). Probably breed throughout the year in deep water (Ref. 35388).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Fernholm, B., 1998. Hagfish systematics. p. 33-44. In J.M. Jørgensen, J.P. Lomholt, R.E. Weber and H. Malte (eds.) The biology of hagfishes. Chapman & Hall, London. 578 p. (Ref. 31276)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

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FAO areas
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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00102 (0.00046 - 0.00225), b=3.06 (2.88 - 3.24), based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec= 20-30).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100) .