Holocephali (chimaeras) > Chimaeriformes
(Chimaeras) > Chimaeridae
(Shortnose chimaeras or ratfishes)
Etymology: Chimaera: Latin, chimaera = marine monster, 1634 (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; bathydemersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 40 - 1000 m (Ref. 4443), usually 300 - 500 m (Ref. 4443). Deep-water; 75°N - 27°N, 32°W - 35°E
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 45.9  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); max. published weight: 2.5 kg (Ref. 4645)
Eastern Atlantic: northern Norway and Iceland, Skagerrak and Kattegat south to Morocco including western Mediterranean (some isolated records from eastern part), Azores and Madeira Islands. Records from South Africa are questionable. Reported from Oshima, Japan (FMNH 89161) (Ref. 27954).
Bathydemersal to benthopelagic generally between 300 and 500 m depth. Found in the upper continental slope. Usually found in deeper waters in southern latitudes, while making a summer inshore migration up to 40-100 m in the northern areas. Sluggish, usually occurring in small groups. Feeds mainly on bottom-living invertebrates. The single dorsal spine is sharp and pointed, and although only mildly venomous can inflict a painful wound. Oviparous. Males have a clasper on the forehead that is probably used to hold on to the female during copulation. Egg capsules are about 17 cm long; young look alike adults and hatch when 10 cm long. Common by-catch when trawling for shrimps in the North Sea or Skaggerak.
Krefft, G., 1990. Chimaeridae. p. 111-113. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 1. (Ref. 4443)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5001 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00132 (0.00071 - 0.00246), b=3.06 (2.89 - 3.23), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Assuming Fec <100;).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (74 of 100) .