Family RHINOCHIMAERIDAE


Common name: Long-nosed Ghost Sharks, Longnose Chimaeras, Spookfishes

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Summary:

Spookfishes or longnose chimaeras have an elongate smooth body with a long pointed snout, a pointed tail sometimes with a caudal filament, beak-like cutting teeth in both jaws, the upper jaw with an extra pair of toothplates, a triangular first dorsal fin, a long-based second dorsal fin, and large pectoral fins; Australian species lack an anal fin.

The family is found worldwide in tropical to temperate regions, where they live near the bottom on the continental slope and abyssal plain.

Seven described species in three genera are recognised, with two genera and three species found in Australian waters.

Extraordinary video of a spookfish, possibly a species of Harriotta, swimming 10 metres above the seafloor in Hydrographer Canyon during Dive 05, July 13, of the Okeanos Explorer Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013. Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.


Key to genera of Rhinochimaeridae found in Australia

1    Snout depressed and flattened; surfaces of tooth plates with ridges or rounded knobs; upper margin of caudal fin without denticles……........................................................................................Harriotta

      Snout compressed; surfaces of tooth plates smooth or nearly so, without ridges or knobs; upper margin of caudal fin with a series of denticles………………………………………………………… ….....Rhinochimaera


Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Spookfishes, RHINOCHIMAERIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jun 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/family/212

References


Bigelow, H.B. & Schroeder, W.C. 1953. Chimaeroids. pp. 515-588, figs 118-127 in Parr, A.E. (ed.). Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoir. Sears Foundation of Marine Research 1(2): 1-599

Bullis, H.R. & Carpenter, J.S. 1966. Neoharriotta carri — a new species of Rhinochimaeridae from the southern Caribbean Sea. Copeia 1966(3): 443-450 figs 1-5

Compagno, L.J.V., Stehmann, M. & Ebert, D.A. 1990. Rhinochimaera africana sp. n., a new longnosed chimaera from southern Africa, with comments on the systematics and distribution of the genus Rhinochimaera Garman, 1901 (Chondrichthyes, Chimaeriformes, Rhinochimaeridae). South African Journal of Marine Science 9: 201-222

Didier, D.A. 1995. Phylogenetic systematics of extant chimaeroid fishes (Holocephali, Chimaeroidei). American Museum Novitates 3119: 1-86

Didier, D.A. (2004). Phylogeny and classification of extant holocephali (pp. 115–135). In J.C. Carrier, J.A. Musick, & M.R. Heithanus (eds). Biology of sharks and their relatives. London, UK:CRC Press.

Garrick, J.A.F. 1971. Harriotta raleighana, a long-nosed chimaera (family Rhinochimaeridae), in New Zealand waters. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1(3/4): 203-213 fig. 1

Garrick, J.A.F. & Inada, T. 1975. Dimensions of long-nosed chimaera Harriotta raleighana from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 9(2): 159-167

Inada, T. & Garrick, J.A.F. 1979. Rhinochimaera pacifica, a long-snouted chimaera (Rhinochimaeridae), in New Zealand waters. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 25(4): 235-243 figs 1-2

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 plsLast, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Licht, M., K. Schmuecker, T, Huelsken, R. Hanel, P. Bartsch & M. Paeckert. 2012. Contribution to the molecular phylogenetic analysis of extant holocephalan fishes (Holocephali, Chimaeriformes). Organisms Diversity & Evolution 12: 421–432.