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
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)
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.
North Atlantic: Murmansk to the Mediterranean Sea; Greenland to USA. Absent in eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. Only hagfish in the Northeast Atlantic.
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.
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. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 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
): 3.5 ±0.7 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) .