Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Nemichthyidae
Etymology: Nemichthys: Greek, nema, -atos = filament + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335); scolopaceus: From the Latin 'scolopax' referring to the long bill-like jaws (Ref. 6885).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathypelagic; depth range 100 - 4337 m (Ref. 96339), usually 100 - 1000 m (Ref. 58302). Deep-water; 55°N - 42°S, 180°W - 180°E
Worldwide in tropical and temperate seas. Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Spain to South Africa, including western Mediterranean (Ref. 3247); reported from Iceland (Ref. 12462). Regularly found in the Skagerrak (Ref. 35387). Northwest Pacific: Japan (Ref. 6885) and Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819). Eastern Pacific: Alaska (Ref. 6885) to Chile (Ref. 9068), including the Gulf of California (Ref. 32364).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 130 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388)
Morphology | Morphometrics
spines: 0. Jaws long (Ref. 13608). Posterior end of body narrow, ending as a long filament (Ref. 13608). Dorsal fin with about 350 rays; caudal fin not recognizable; anal fin with about 320 (Ref. 6885). Dark brown or grey in color, often darker below (Ref. 3248); anal fin and tips of pectoral fins almost black (Ref. 6885).
Occur in midwater, usually below 400 m and occasionally in shallow water in the northern part of its range. Feed on crustaceans while swimming with its mouth open (Ref. 5377). Mesopelagic (Ref. 58302) and bathypelagic (Ref. 58426). Oviparous, with planktonic leptocephali (Ref. 32364). Degenerative changes in males and females suggest semelparity (Ref. 32364). Minimum depth from Ref. 58302.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Nielsen, J.G. and D.G. Smith, 1978. The eel family Nemichthyidae (Pisces, Anguilliformes). Carlsberg Found., Dana-Rept. No. 88:71 p. (Ref. 7450)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 4.3 - 21.1, mean 10.2 (based on 3474 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.6270 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00093 (0.00035 - 0.00246), b=3.05 (2.82 - 3.28), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.30; assuming semelparity with tm>5).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (51 of 100) .