Holocephali (chimaeras) > Chimaeriformes
(Chimaeras) > Chimaeridae
(Shortnose chimaeras or ratfishes)
Etymology: Chimaera: Named for the mythological creature composed of parts of multiple animals, referring to their odd mix of characteristics. (See ETYFish); opalescens: Latin for opalescent, referring to characteristic iridescent coloration of fresh specimens, resembling nacreous colors of the semi-precious stone opal. (See ETYFish).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 900 - 1408 m (Ref. 87424). Temperate; 57°N - 48°N, 6°W - 11°W
Northeast Atlantic, along the slope to the west of the British Isles and France (Ref. 87424).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 96.8 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 87424); 109.8 cm TL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Chimaera opalescens can be distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characters: body evenly coloured, iridescent, varying from beige to tan in adults and bronzish in juveniles; unpaired fins brown to purple, uniformly coloured or with pale or whitish edges; iris black; claspers tripartite divided for one third of their length, not extending beyond the pelvic fins in adults; dorsal spine equal or shorter than first dorsal fin; ventral caudal lobe equal or deeper than the dorsal caudal lobe. Comparison of DNA sequences of the CO1 gene with those of related species supported C. opalescens as a distinct species (Ref. 87424).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Luchetti, E.A., S.P. Iglésias and D.Y. Sellos, 2011. Chimaera opalescens n. sp., a new chimaeroid (Chondrichthyes: Holocephali) from the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean. J. Fish Biol. 79(2):399-417. (Ref. 87424)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 7 - 9, mean 8.3 °C (based on 6 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00309 (0.00126 - 0.00759), b=3.10 (2.89 - 3.31), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.6 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (66 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 12.5 [3.9, 36.9] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.281 [0.104, 1.093] mg/100g ; Protein = 15.3 [10.4, 19.0] % ; Omega3 = 0.495 [0.216, 1.141] g/100g ; Selenium = 21.7 [5.9, 59.4] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 9.21 [2.75, 29.32] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.429 [0.217, 0.804] mg/100g (wet weight);