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Eptatretus cryptus Zintzen, Roberts, Shepherd, Stewart, Struthers, Anderson, McVeagh, Noren & Fernholm, 2015

Cryptic hagfish
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Eptatretus cryptus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Eptatretus cryptus
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New Zealand country information

Common names: Cryptic hagfish
Occurrence: endemic
Salinity: marine
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: live export: yes;
Comments: Currently known in coastal and offshore waters from the Three Kings Islands to Stewart Island and the eastern part of the Chatham Rise in depths of 96–922 m, but more commonly found deeper than 500 m (Ref. 115309).
National Checklist:
Country Information:
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Zintzen, V., C.D. Roberts, L. Shepherd, A.L. Stewart, C.D. Struther, M.J. Anderson, M. McVeagh, M. Noren and B. Fernholm, 2015
National Database:

Common names from other countries

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Myxini (hagfishes) > Myxiniformes (Hagfishes) > Myxinidae (Hagfishes) > Eptatretinae
Etymology: Eptatretus: Greek, epta = seven + Greek, tretos, -e, -on = with holes (Ref. 45335);  cryptus: Named from the Greek kryptos (hidden, secret), referring to the morphology of this species, which is very similar to that of E. cirrhatus, with which it has been confused in the past.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 96 - 922 m (Ref. 115309).   Deep-water

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Pacific: New Zealand: known in coastal and offshore waters from the Three Kings Islands to Stewart Island and the eastern part of the Chatham Rise in depths of 96–922 m, but more commonly found deeper than 500 m (Ref. 115309).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 93.1 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 115309)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. Diagnosis: characterized by the combination of the following characters: 7 pairs of gill pouches, 3/3 multicusps, 12–15 prebranchial slime pores (modally 14), 78–86 total slime pores, slime pores without narrow white rim, preocular length 4.8–5.8% TL, and body colour brown to dark brown; differs from all other congeners except E. caribbeaus, E. menezesi, E. strahani, E. cirrhatus, and E. goliath by having 7 pairs of gill pouches and 3/3 multicusps; Eptatretus caribbeaus, E. menezesi, and E. strahani are not found in New Zealand; differs from E. caribbeaus by the number of anterior unicusps (10–11 versus 11–13), posterior unicusps (8–10 versus 10–11), and body colour (brown to dark brown versus light tan); differs from E. menezesi by the tail slime pores (11–14 versus 14–18), total slime pores (78–86 versus 86–94), and ventral finfold colour (brown versus whitish margin); it differs from E. strahani by having visible (versus absent) eyespots, rounded (versus slit-like) 1st few branchial apertures, vestigial (versus welldeveloped) ventral finfold (0.17–0.64%TL versus 1.12–1.16%TL), rounded (versus angled) ventral caudal fin profile, and shallower tail depth (8.1–10.6%TL versus 10.9–12.7%TL); differentiation from E. cirrhatus by the prebranchial slime pores (12–15, modally 14 versus 15– 18, modally 16), its more robust appearance (body depth 8.9–12.0% TL versus 5.9–11.2% TL, often <8.6% TL), and body colour (brown to dark brown versus dark brown to purple-brown); some, and often most, slime pores of E. cirrhatus have a narrow white rim, whereas slime pores in E. cryptus sp. nov. are the same colour as the rest of the body; care must be taken not to interpret residual slime or internal structure of the slime pore for the presence of a white rim; Eptatretus cryptus differs from E. goliath by the trunk slime pores (46–54 versus 56–60) and total slime pores (78–86 versus 89–95); the following character can also help in dissociating E. cryptus from E. goliath: preocular length (>4.8 versus 3.7–5.2% TL) and prebranchial length (>20.3 versus 18.3–20.9% TL) (Ref. 115309).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Its biology is largely unknown because it has been misidentified as the common hagfish E. cirrhatus; its stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signature indicated that this species feeds at a high trophic level, 3 levels above primary producers (Ref. 115309).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

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(Ref. )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)

CITES (Ref. 118484)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource |

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.6   ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (52 of 100) .