Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Notacanthiformes
(Halosaurs and deep-sea spiny eels) > Notacanthidae
(Deep-sea spiny eels)
Etymology: Lipogenys: Greek, lipos = fat + Greek, geny, -yos = face, jaw (Ref. 45335).
More on authors: Goode & Bean.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 400 - 2000 m (Ref. 50674). Deep-water; 50°N - 35°N, 76°W - 48°W
Northwest Atlantic: Nova Scotia and Hudson Canyon (Ref. 37108). Southwest Pacific: Australia (Ref. 75154).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 11041)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 6 - 8;
soft rays: 67 - 88;
Vertebrae: 228 - 234. Tail slender and tapering to a point. Mouth inferior, small and sucker-like; upper lip with thick, pleated folds; posterior end of maxilla bent sharply downward, forming a flap-like structure; fleshy papillae on snout bordering upper lip. Teeth absent. Dorsal fin short-based, located above anus, the first 4-6 rays hard and spinous, increasing in length from front to back, the remainder soft and segmented, membrane connecting all rays except for first I-III spines. Anal fin long, extending from just behind anus to tip of tail, anterior rays spinous, posterior rays segmented, the transition gradual. Caudal fin absent (Ref. 11041). Light brown, lining of gill chamber and rim of opercular branchiostegal flap dark brown, mouth and lining of buccal cavity light yellowish tan (Ref. 37108).
Feed mostly on organic material contained in bottom sediment drawn up by the sucker-like mouth [RF doubts this is a detritus feeder; the elaborate mouth without teeth looks like a specialization for extracting soft-bodied benthic invertebrates out of the ground; also, there are no gill rakers to filter detritus (Ref. 50674)]. No obvious sexual dimorphism; a female of 37.5 cm SL was still immature (Ref. 50674).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Sexes can be separated by testis and ovaries; there is no indication of internal fertilization.
Smith, D.G., 1997. Lipogenyidae. Spiny sucker eels. p. 1629. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the WCP. Vol. 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. (Ref. 11041)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 3.4 - 5.3, mean 3.9 °C (based on 17 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 1.0005 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00257 (0.00105 - 0.00631), b=3.09 (2.87 - 3.31), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.37 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Assuming tm >=5).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100).