Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Nemichthyidae
Etymology: Nemichthys: Greek, nema, -atos = filament + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335); scolopaceus: From the Latin 'scolopax' referring to the long bill-like jaws (Ref. 6885).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; bathypelagic; depth range 0 - 3656 m (Ref. 58426), usually 100 - 1000 m (Ref. 58302). Deep-water; 55°N - 42°S, 180°W - 180°E
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 130 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388)
Morphology | Morphometrics
spines: 0. Jaws long (Ref. 13608). Posterior end of body narrow, ending as a long filament (Ref. 13608). Dorsal fin with about 350 rays; caudal fin not recognizable; anal fin with about 320 (Ref. 6885). Dark brown or grey in color, often darker below (Ref. 3248); anal fin and tips of pectoral fins almost black (Ref. 6885).
Worldwide in tropical and temperate seas. Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Spain to South Africa, including western Mediterranean (Ref. 3247); reported from Iceland (Ref. 12462). Regularly found in the Skagerrak (Ref. 35387). Northwest Pacific: Japan (Ref. 6885) and Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819). Eastern Pacific: Alaska (Ref. 6885) to Chile (Ref. 9068), including the Gulf of California (Ref. 32364).
Occur in midwater, usually below 400 m and occasionally in shallow water in the northern part of its range. Feed on crustaceans while swimming with its mouth open (Ref. 5377). Mesopelagic (Ref. 58302) and bathypelagic (Ref. 58426). Oviparous, with planktonic leptocephali (Ref. 32364). Degenerative changes in males and females suggest semelparity (Ref. 32364). Minimum depth from Ref. 58018.
Nielsen, J.G. and D.G. Smith, 1978. The eel family Nemichthyidae (Pisces, Anguilliformes). Carlsberg Found., Dana-Rept. No. 88:71 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.6270 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.30; assuming semelparity with tm>5).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (51 of 100) .