Rhinochimaera atlantica

Author: Holt and Byrne, 1909

Rhinochimaera atlantica Holt and Byrne, 1909

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Rhinochimaera atlantica Holt and Byrne, 1909 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: snout very long and straight, eyes fairly small, behind level of mouth, their diameter 2.4-3.2 times in distance between eye and dorsal spine. Upper part of caudal fin with 25-30 relatively large knob-like tubercles, in a single line or paired, mainly in half-grown to adult males, less conspicuous or absent externally in juveniles and females; filament present at tip of caudal fin, at most 10% of length of second dorsal fin. Colour: uniformly pale brownish to whitish, fins somewhat darker. Size: to 140 cm TL (or 90 cm to end of second dorsal fin).

Habitat: benthopelagic on lower parts of continental slopes at about 500-1,500 m; not rare. Food: no data. Reproduction: oviparous; egg-cases large and tadpole-shaped, with an anterior constriction, a long posterior tube and very wide lateral membranes with many transverse ribs; smallest known specimens about 15 cm TL.

Distribution: northern Bay of Biscay northwards to Iceland, including Iceland Faroes Rise; probably reaching further south. Elsewhere, western North Atlantic off Nova Scotia and New England.

Note: closely resembles R. pacifica (Mitsukuri, 1895), the only other species in this genus, except in number of caudal denticulations (Inada and Garrick, 1979); may prove to be the same species.

Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Holt and Byrne, 1910: 22-23, pl. III (fig. 4-5) Koefoed, 1927: fig. 8 (egg-purses).