Myxine glutinosa

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Myxine glutinosa
Atlantic Hagfish (Myxine glutinosa).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Pteraspidomorphi
Subclass: Pteraspidomorpha
Order: Myxiniformes
Family: Myxinidae
Genus: Myxine
Species: M. glutinosa
Binomial name
Myxine glutinosa
Linnaeus, 1758
  • Gasterobranchus glutinosus (Linnaeus 1758)
  • Gastrobranchus coecus Bloch 1791
  •  ?Myxine glutinosa var. septentrionalis Putnam 1874
  • Myxine glutinosa var. limosa Putnam 1874
  • Myxine glutinosa var. australis Putnam 1874
  • Myzinus glutinosus (Linnaeus 1758)
  • Petromyzon myxine Walbaum 1792

Myxine glutinosa, known as the Atlantic hagfish in North America, and often simply as the hagfish in Europe, is a species of jawless fish of the genus Myxine.


The distribution of Myxine glutinosa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean extends from the western Mediterranean Sea and Portugal to the North Sea, Skagerrak, Kattegat and the Varanger Fjord.[3] It is also found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Baffin Island, Canada south to North Carolina.[4] A related species, the Gulf hagfish (Eptatretus springeri), occurs in the Gulf of Mexico.[5]


The Atlantic hagfish may grow up to 2.5 feet (0.76 m) long, with no eyes and no jaws; its star-shaped mouth is surrounded by 6 barbels.[4] There is a single gill slit on each side of the eel-like body.[4] It has a total of 88–102 pores from which it can exude a slimy mucus.[3]


Hagfish such as M. glutinosa feed on the carcasses of fishes, which they bore into through any available opening.[3][4]


Following an unofficial poll by the NRK P1 broadcaster in 1982, the hagfish was voted the national fish of Norway with over 4 000 votes, beating the second place ( Atlantic Cod ) by a large margin, as that fish only got 2,552 votes. However, the vote was most likely rigged and the result was overturned by the jury.[6]


  1. ^ Froese, R.; Pauly, D. (2017). "Myxinidae". FishBase version (02/2017). Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Myxinidae" (PDF). Deeplyfish- fishes of the world. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c P. J. P. Whitehead; M.-L. Bauchot; J.-C. Hureau; J. Nielsen; E. Tortonese, eds. (1984/1986). "Hagfish (Myxine glutinosa)". Fishes of the NE Atlantic and the Mediterranean.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d Michael Filisky & Roger Tory Peterson (1998). "Atlantic Hagfish". Peterson First Guide to Fishes of North America (2nd ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-395-91179-2. 
  5. ^ Edwin S. Iversen & Renate H. Skinner (2006). "Atlantic hagfish Myxine glutinosa". Dangerous Sea Life of the West Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico: A Guide for Accident Prevention and First Aid. Pineapple Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-56164-370-7. 
  6. ^ Friis, R. (1982): «Slimåler» raser mot NRK/torsken, VG, s. 33, 15. November 1982

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