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Scientific name: Eptatretus hexatrema
Common name: Sixgill hagfish
Phyulm Sub Phylum Class Sub Class Order Sub Order Family Sub Family Genus Species
Chordata Vertebrata Pteraspidomorphi Pteraspidomorpha Myxiniformes Not Defined Myxinidae Not Defined Eptatretus Eptatretus hexatrema


Short description:

Hagfish have elongated, eel-like bodies (so flexible they sometimes tie themselves in knots). They have four hearts, two brains, and a paddle-like tail.They have cartilaginous skulls (although the part surrounding the brain is composed primarily of a fibrous sheath) and tooth-like structures composed of keratin. Colours depend on the species, ranging from pink to blue-grey, and black or white spots may be present. Eyes are simple eyespots, not compound eyes that can resolve images. Hagfish have no true fins and have six or eight barbels around the mouth and a single nostril.



Jaws absent,no bones.Body naked,snake-like.External gill openings:5-8 No paired fins No dorsal fin.
Caudal fin extends onto dorsal and ventral surfaces.

Size:  20-150cm
Behaviour: Two rows of slime pores alonside body excreets slime when provoked
Diet: While polychaete marine worms on or near the sea floor are a major source of nutrition, hagfish can feed upon and often even enter and eviscerate the bodies of dead and dying/injured sea creatures much larger than themselves. They are known to devour their victims from the inside

Southeast Atlantic: known only from Walvis Bay, Namibia to Durban, South Africa.

Depth: 10-400m
Habitat: Sandy and rocky shores
Reference: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Similar Species:
  • none

Database Statistics
(Click on the links for more information)
Photographer Date City Area Dive site Temp Size Depth Camera Photo Video
Glenn Jacoby-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-11-28 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Fort Raggie 12 1500mm 20m Fujifilm Finepix F50fd photo
Glenn Jacoby-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-11-28 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Fort Raggie 12 1500mm 16m Fujifilm Finepix F50fd photo
Juan Snyman-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-02-26 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Vital Link 18 1500mm 15m Fujifilm Finepix F50fd photo
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eastern cape scuba diving