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Species: Chimaera cubana, Cuban Chimaera

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sometimes stripes on body
all fins: black edges
D1 high, long base
D2 low, short base, rear 1/3 low
pectorals short, broad, triangular
pelvics short
A present

Chimaera cubana Howell Rivero, 1936

Cuban Chimaera

Body compressed, elongate, with tapering tail; head very large (length 20-30% body length); snout short, blunt; eyes large (length 7-11% body length); nostrils large, before mouth, connected to outer corner of mouth by a deep groove covered with a flap; mouth under head; teeth are plates, 2 pairs above, 1 pair below; gill opening before pectoral, covered by fleshy operculum; 2 separate dorsal fins; 1st dorsal fin high (height 19-25% body length), triangular, relatively long base (16-21% body length), with a relatively long (24-29% body length) keeled, curved spine at front, that spine reaches past tip of that fin, is free from dorsal fin for the serrated upper ½ of its length, when depressed reaches to or past origin of 2nd dorsal fin; 2nd dorsal fin relatively low (height 3-4% body length), its base 55-76% of body length, its border relatively uniform in height & straight, rear 1/3 slightly lower than front, base meeting base of upper tail fin lobe; anal fin present, low, with pointed tip, separate from lower lobe of tail fin by a notch; pectoral fins relatively short (29-40% body length), broad, triangular, reaches beyond origin of pelvic fins; pelvic fins relatively short (front edge 17-20% body length), broad; tail fin elongate, lance-like, both lobes about equal in height, low (1-3% body length), its edge long (35-59% body length) extending well beyond margin of top lobe, with a whip-like rear filament; lateral line canals well developed, on head and body noticeably open; skin smooth, no scales; male with large, 2 pointed sex organs, slender, divided at mid-length, with long, fleshy lobes covered in denticles.

Color: head, body and fins soft pink, with a silvery grey overtone, sometimes faint longitudinal stripes on trunk, and especially base of tail; pectorals and pelvics darker than body; all fins with black margins.

Reaches 80.3 cm, body 55.4 cm

Depth range 180-1050 m

Benthopelagic over soft and hard bottoms.

Cuba to the lesser Antilles and western Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 80
Depth Range Min
  • 180
Depth Range Max
  • 1050