Alternate Title

Notes on the Biology of an Adult Female Chimaera cubana Captured Off St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Document Type

Short Communication


Within the western North Atlantic Ocean there are at least 4 genera and 5 species of chimaeroids occurring in deep waters generally associated with outer continental slopes or areas of high bathymetric relief (Didier 2002; Didier 2004). Two chimaeroids, Chimaera cubana and Hydrolagus alberti, are known to be indigenous to the Caribbean Sea in waters associated with the Greater and Lesser Antilles. While H. alberti occurs throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, C. cubana is thought to be endemic to an area bounded by Cuba and Colombia (IUCN 2009). These two chimaeras are readily differentiated by the presence or absence of an anal fin and species–specific branching patterns of cranial lateral line canals (Didier 2004). Since the description of C. cubana by Howell–Rivero (1936), only 10 specimens have been reported in the primary literature with another 11 specimens located in museum collections (Bunkley–Williams and Williams 2004). The dearth of biological information on C. cubana led the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to recommend that “basic data be collected on all captures” (IUCN 2009).

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