Holocephali (chimaeras) > Chimaeriformes
(Chimaeras) > Chimaeridae
(Shortnose chimaeras or ratfishes)
Etymology: Chimaera: Latin, chimaera = marine monster, 1634 (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 40 - 1400 m (Ref. 104125), usually 300 - 500 m (Ref. 4443). Deep-water; 75°N - 27°N, 32°W - 35°E
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).
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)
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.
Oviparous; egg-capsules slender, club-shaped with narrow lateral membranes and a horny filament at the long pointed end, 17 cm long and 3 cm wide; deposited mainly in spring and summer. The embryos developing in about 9-12 months and hatch at 10 cm length.
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 3.7 - 14.1, mean 7.9 °C (based on 179 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00219 (0.00126 - 0.00381), b=3.08 (2.93 - 3.23), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.0 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 16.4 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Assuming Fec <100;).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (74 of 100) .