Pointy-nosed blue chimaera

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Pointy-nosed blue chimaera
Hydrolagus trolli.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Chimaeriformes
Family: Chimaeridae
Genus: Hydrolagus
H. trolli
Binomial name
Hydrolagus trolli
Didier & Séret, 2002

The pointy-nosed blue chimaera (Hydrolagus trolli), also known as the pointy-nosed blue ratfish, Ray Troll's chimaera or abyssal ghostshark, is a species of deep-sea fish in the family Chimaeridae.[1][2][3][4]


The specific name trolli honors Ray Troll, an American artist in whose art chimaeras have featured.[5][4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is found in the Pacific and Southern Oceans, with records from near New Caledonia, New Zealand, and southern Australia; records from South Africa refer to other species. It is a deep-water species that has been recorded on deep continental and insular slopes at depths between 610 and 2,000 metres (2,000 and 6,560 ft), but more commonly below 1,000 metres (3,300 ft).[1]

Specimens provisionally assigned to this species have also seen in waters near California and Hawaii, alive, in 2009. As with many other deep-sea species, its distribution likely covers much of the globe, but is poorly known. However, this species of Chimaeridae was the first to have been captured on film, leading to further insight on it.[6][7][4]


The body has distinctive blue-gray coloration.[1][3] A dark line is seen around the orbit, as well as dark shadowing along edges of lateral line canals. The snout is pointed. It grows to 120 cm (47 in) total length.[3] It also has a venomous spine in front of its dorsal fin, which is used in defense.[8]

Females mature around 55 cm (22 in) in body length and males at 60–65 cm (24–26 in).[1] The species is oviparous.[1][3]


The species has no commercial value, but it occurs as bycatch in fisheries with deep-water benthic trawls. It might also be bycatch in (illegal) Patagonian toothfish fisheries. However, most of the habitat of this species is deeper than where deep-water fisheries typically operate.[1]

Conservation status[edit]

In June 2018 the New Zealand Department of Conservation classified the pointy-nosed blue chimaera as "Not Threatened" with the qualifier "Secure Overseas" under the New Zealand Threat Classification System.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Compagno, L.J.V.; Dagit, D.D. (2015). "Hydrolagus trolli". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T60197A70709551. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  2. ^ Eschmeyer, W. N.; R. Fricke; R. van der Laan, eds. (30 June 2017). "Catalog of Fishes". California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2017). "Hydrolagus trolli" in FishBase. February 2017 version.
  4. ^ a b c "The pointy-nosed blue ratfish Hydrolagus trolli" (Video). Monterey Bay Aquarium. 26 October 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "Ratfish named after Ketchikan artist Ray Troll". Ketchikan Daily News. November 8, 2002. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  6. ^ Bittel, Jason (December 15, 2016). "Deep-Sea Ghost Shark Filmed Alive In Ocean For First Time". National Geographic. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  7. ^ Price, Greg. "Researchers May Have Found Elusive 'Ghost Shark'". International Business Times. Retrieved December 16, 2016 – via Yahoo.
  8. ^ Ghost Shark(Hydrolagus trolli)/
  9. ^ Duffy, Clinton A. J.; Francis, Malcolm; Dunn, M. R.; Finucci, Brit; Ford, Richard; Hitchmough, Rod; Rolfe, Jeremy (2018). Conservation status of New Zealand chondrichthyans (chimaeras, sharks and rays), 2016 (PDF). Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Conservation. p. 10. ISBN 9781988514628. OCLC 1042901090.