Can use slime to suffocate marine predators or escape capture
Hagfish Scientific Classification
Hagfish Physical Characteristics
Grey, Pink
40 years
0.85-1.4 kg (1.8-3.1 lb)
Hagfish Distribition

Hagfish, likewise referred to as slimed eels or scum eels, are so called since they create scum

Nonetheless, they are not really eels however eel- like fish that have jawless mouths together with lampreys. They are thought about to be one of the most horrible animals and are very important for business and food functions. The hagfish’s environment is all the globe’s seas, with each species having a various array.

5 Amazing Hagfish Realities!

  • These fish are the only animals that have a head however no spine, although they do have simple vertebrae.
  • They can take in nutrients via their skin.
  • Their scum permits them to run away capture when they connect themselves right into an overhand knot.
  • Their scum congests aquatic predators’ gills, asphyxiating them so they will certainly launch the hagfish.
  • The hagfish’s loosened skin enables entire- body versatility to allow it to connect itself right into knots without injury.

Hagfish Classification and Scientific Name

There are 6 category and 1 family of hagfish (Myxinidae), although often they are categorized right into 2 family members, the various other being Eptatretidae. All species have the typical features of a jawless mouth and a cartilaginous head without any spine. They are agnathans, or jawless fish, in the superclass Cyclostomata (Agnatha). Their subphylum is Vertebrata, since although they have no spine, they have simple vertebrae. Besides the category Myxini and Eptatretus, various other category consist of Paramyxine, Notomyxine, Neomyxine, and Nemamyxine

Hagfish Species

There are roughly 70- 82 species, with the number differing relying on the resource as a result of the constant exploration of brand-new species. One of the most examined species, with the scientific name Myxini glutinosa, is likewise called the Atlantic hagfish. Various other species are the Goliath (scientific name Eptatretus goliath), Pacific or The golden state hagfish (scientific name Eptatretus stoutii), and the black hagfish ( Eptatretus deani).

Hagfish Appearance

All these fish species have the typical features of long, slim bodies with a pinkish- grey, blue or purple shade relying on the species, and often covered in places. They all likewise create a thick, sticky scum from 100 glands on both sides of their bodies. Their weight varies from 0.85 to 1.4 kg (1.8 to 3.1 pound) with a size of 4cm (1.6 in) -81.28 centimeters (32in), however normally 50cm (19.7 in)

There are numerous various other distinct features:

  • Hagfish are just one of minority animals have several hearts. They have 3 accessory hearts, no brain or brain, a solitary nostril, and a cartilaginous head.
  • A tooth plate that lengthens and pulls back instead of jaws, 2 identical rows of simple, sharp teeth which continuously obtain re- soaked up and regrown, a rasping tongue, and a flat- relocating, channel- designed mouth.
  • Numerous sets of arms in different put on the body offer mechanosensory and chemosensory features.
  • A lowered set of eyes looking like pigmented places on the back of the head behind the dental area, under the clear skin, and before the gill- bearing branchial area.
  • What separates these fish from eels is the absence of combined fins, considering that they have just the caudal (tail) fin.
  • Inside, their breathing system is distinct, with the existence of a sinus system where the body organs take in blood from the blood vessels and various other capillary.
  • They have no tummy however the food they eat is rather confined in an absorptive membrane layer.

The Atlantic hagfish can mature to 95 centimeters in size while the Goliath Hagfish can get to 127.5 centimeters. The Goliath hagfish is the biggest species, with a sampling gauging 127 centimeters (4 feet 2 in). Myxine kuoi and Myxine pequeno i rise to 18 centimeters (7.1 in), while various other species are as tiny as 4 centimeters (1.6 in).

The species of the genus Eptatretus are 7- gilled hagfishes. The Atlantic and Pacific hagfish vary in 2 means: The Atlantic hagfish has muscular tissue fibers in its skin and its relaxing setting is extended, while that of the Pacific hagfish is curled.

Six gill hagfish Eptatretus hexatrema at the wreck of the Oakburn at Duiker Point on the Cape Peninsula

Hagfish Distribution, Population, and Environment

These fish exist in all the globe’s seas and all species reside in chilly deep sea, with their array or sea differing relying on the species. The environment of the species in the Eptatretus genus is the Pacific Sea, keeping that of the Far Eastern inshore hagfish ( Eptatretus burgeri) being the Northwest Pacific. The environment of the Myxinidae family is all the globe’s seas, which of Eptatretidae is anywhere other than the North Atlantic. They tunnel right into the sea flooring or right into dead and passing away fish, residing in chilly, low tides with a temperature level of 15 ° C and deepness variety of 52- 5,600 feet (15.85- 1,800 m), however normally 4,000 feet (1,219 m).

Hagfish Predators and Victim

Hagfish are scavengers and parasitical, with a meat-eating diet. They favor to prey on or parasitize online target, although they will certainly scavenge on dead or passing away animals when offered the possibility. While feeding, they utilize their rasping tongues to draw their target right into their mouths.

What do hagfish eat?

Hagfish normally prey on base- home worms and various other invertebrates, whales, and fish. They can take in nutrients via their skin and create scum when they feed.

What eat hagfish?

Hagfish have couple of aquatic predators as a result of their scum, which aids them to run away predators, along with the capability to press via openings that are much less than half their body size, which not just aids them to run away predators however to feed on. Their predators are mainly selections of birds and creatures, with humans positioning a risk to 20% of the population according to the IUCN.

Hagfish Reproduction and Life-span

Hagfish are a sexually dimorphic species with a proportion of as much as 100:1 for females. Some species are hermaphroditic. Females lay anywhere in between 1- 30 hard eggs that adhere to each various other with Velcro- like ends. The gestation duration is normally 11 months, and there is no larval phase, unlike lampreys. Very little else is found out about their reproductive actions as a result of the problem in lab reproduction. No matter, they can measure up to 40 years in the wild and 17 in bondage

Hagfish in Angling and Food Preparation

Hagfish have vital business usages.

For one, they are consumed in Korea and Japan. In Korea, they are normally skinned prior to being smoked or mix- fried and are thought about an aphrodisiac by the males. In Japan, hagfish function as an option to tofu, as a result of the scum that can bind a big quantity of fluid with little to no home heating. Interested eaters can acquire hagfish in the USA from anglers in The golden state.

Hagfish flesh is crunchy with a light yet unique preference and an undesirable aftertaste. To prepare Oriental- design, cut down the center, eliminate the digestive system system, and marinade in Oriental bbq sauce. Area the raw fish on a warmer and chef, cutting with scissors, and offer the prepared fish with lettuce and gochujang (red chili paste). The head is normally left on the fish and supplied as an honor to visitors. At the same time, the fish can be consumed raw, and they are likewise prominent in their raw type.

Hagfish skin is utilized as a long lasting natural leather in numerous garments devices consisting of pocketbooks, belts and footwear. It is normally called “eel skin.”

Hagfish reside on or near all-time low of the sea flooring. Consequently, angling is hard in the existence of hagfish, considering that they can ruin or eat the catches within anglers’s deep dragnets prior to they can draw them to the surface area.

Hagfish Sludge

Although the thick, sticky material hagfish create is called scum, it’s really not. Its features are rather a milklike, coarse mucous. The species Myxini glutinosa was called for it, with words “glutinosa” in Latin indicating glutinous or gummy. Hagfish create scum while they eat, while delving, or while getting away from predators together with an overhand knot from head to tail. The scum is usually utilized as a replacement for egg whites.

Hagfish Population

The population of all hagfish species is unidentified.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagfish
  2. Aquarium of the Pacific, Available here: https://www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/species/pacific_hagfish
  3. Smithsonian Magazine, Available here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/14-fun-facts-about-hagfish-77165589/
  4. Wired, Available here: https://www.wired.com/2014/11/creature-feature-10-fun-facts-hagfish/
  5. Berkeley University, Available here: https://ucmp.berkeley.edu/vertebrates/basalfish/myxini.html
  6. Animals, Available here: https://animals.net/hagfish/
  7. Britannica, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/animal/hagfish
  8. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Available here: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hagfish.main
  9. Wiley Online Library, Available here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/aqc.1202
  10. IUCN, Available here: https://www.iucn.org/content/depletion-body-snatchers-bad-news-marine-environment
  11. Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, Available here: https://thelivingplanet.com/animal/pacific-hagfish/
  12. Sea and Sky, Available here: http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/atlantic-hagfish.html
  13. Owlcation, Available here: https://owlcation.com/stem/The-Hagfish-A-Strange-Animal-With-a-Useful-Slime
  14. Your Article Library, Available here: https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/fish/anatomy-and-physiology/hagfish-anatomy-and-physiology-intro-digestive-system-and-other-organs/88197

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