Rabbit fish

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Not to be confused with Rabbitfish.
Chimaera monstrosa
Chimaera monstrosa haogjydling.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Chimaeriformes
Family: Chimaeridae
Genus: Chimaera
Species: C. monstrosa
Binomial name
Chimaera monstrosa
Linnaeus, 1758

Chimaera monstrosa, also known as the rabbit fish or rat fish, is a northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean species of fish in the Chimaeridae family.[1]

Appearance and behavior[edit]

Illustration by P. J. Smit

The rabbit fish can grow up to 1.5 m (5 ft) long, and weigh 2.5 kg (5.5 lb).[2] The color is brown, with marmor-white stripes in all directions. The eyes are big with a green lens. The lateral line can be seen clearly on the head. On the dorsal fin, the rabbit fish has a mildy venomous spine that can cause painful stings.[2]

The rabbit fish is oviparous, typically found in small groups and feeds on bottom-living invertebrates.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The rabbit fish lives at depths from 40 to 1,663 m (131–5,456 ft) with most records between 300 and 500 m (980–1,640 ft).[1] They generally occur deeper in the southern part of the range than in the northern.[2] Sick or dying fish are sometimes observed in shallow water. Its distribution is the northeastern Atlantic, from Morocco north to northern Norway and Iceland. They are also found in the Mediterranean, although rare in the eastern part and not known from the northern and central Adriatic Sea.[1] Records from South Africa are considered questionable.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Dagit, D.D. & Caldas, J.P. 2007. Chimaera monstrosa. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 2009-01-02.
  2. ^ a b c d e Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2015). "Chimaera monstrosa" in FishBase. July 2015 version.