Chimaera opalescens n. sp., a new chimaeroid (Chondrichthyes: Holocephali) from the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean

Published online on 22 July 2011.

E. A. Luchetti, S. P. Iglésias, D. Y. Sellos.


A new species of chimaeroid, Chimaera opalescens n. sp., was described from 31 type specimens caught in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean at 950–1400 m depth. This species differed from all its congeners by the combination of the following characters: body uniformly pale brown to bronze, iridescent on fresh specimens; unpaired fins brown to purple, uniformly coloured or with pale or whitish edges; iris black; claspers tripartite and divided for a third of their length, not extending beyond the pelvic fins in adults; dorsal spine equal to or shorter than first dorsal fin; ventral caudal lobe equal to or deeper than dorsal caudal lobe. Comparison of DNA sequences of the CO1 gene with those of related species supported C. opalescens n. sp. as a distinct species. Specimens of C. opalescens n. sp. were previously misidentified as Chimaera monstrosa, a species sharing a similar geographical distribution. Chimaera opalescens n. sp. lives in deeper water and is a larger-bodied species than C. monstrosa. The two species were newly exploited by deep-sea fisheries and confused under a single landing name.

Journal of Fish Biology, Volume 79, Issue 2, pages 399–417, August 2011.



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