Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Eptatretus hexatrema

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Kingdom  Animalia
Class  Myxini
Family  Myxinidae
Rank  Species
Phylum  Chordata
Order  Myxiniformes
Genus  Eptatretus
Eptatretus hexatrema httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Similar  Eptatretus polytrema, Gulf hagfish, Black hagfish

Eptatretus hexatrema, the sixgill hagfish or snotslang, is a species of marine fish in the hagfish family (family Myxinidae) of order Myxiniformes. It is native to the South Atlantic Ocean and southwestern Indian Ocean.



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


Maximum recorded length 80.0 cm. Depth of body 15 times total length. Six gill openings. Colour slaty grey. Egg cases ovoid about 30mm long by 12mm wide with anchor filaments at each end. Eel shaped,with six barbels on the head around the mouth. Epatches form white spots under the skin. Two rows of slime pores under the body. No paired fins, mouth has no jaws but has two protrusible rows of horny teeth.

Habitat and behaviour

Non-migratory marine demersal. Depth range 10 – 400 m, usually found between 10 and 45 m. Commonly burrows in muddy bottoms. Feeds mostly by scavenging on dead or disabled fish. Secretes large quantities of slime when provoked.

Importance to humans

No commercial value, considered a pest by fishermen.

Conservation status

Least concern


Etymology: Eptatretus: Greek, epta = seven + Greek, tretos = with holes. hexatrema: ? .

Common names: sixgill hagfish, snotslang

Synonyms: Bdellostoma hexatrema Müller, 1836. Heptatretus hexatrema (Müller, 1836)


Eptatretus hexatrema Wikipedia

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Black hagfish
Eptatretus polytrema
Gulf hagfish