Holocephali (chimaeras) > Chimaeriformes
(Chimaeras) > Chimaeridae
(Shortnose chimaeras or ratfishes)
Etymology: Chimaera: Latin, chimaera = marine monster, 1634 (Ref. 45335); opalescens: Name from the Latin opalus (opal), refers to the characteristic iridescent colouration of the fresh specimens, resembling the nacreous colours of the semi-precious stone opal.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 900 - 1400 m (Ref. 87424), usually - m (Ref. ). Temperate; 0°C - ; 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. 124695)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 7 - 9, mean 8.3 °C (based on 6 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00282 (0.00118 - 0.00673), 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
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (59 of 100) .