Eptatretus mendozai

Common Name

Puerto Rican Hagfish

Year Described

Hensley, 1985


Slime Pores
Prebranchial: 13-15
Branchial: 5-6
Trunk: 45-48
Tail: 12-15
Total: 77-82

Anterior unicusps: 11-13
Posterior unicusps: 10-12
Total cusps: 56-61
Tooth formula: 3/3

Body anguilliform and cylindrical. There are six gill openings. Gill openings linear. Branchial ducts tapering to a smaller size posteriorly. Anal finfold present and well developed.


Living specimens are bluish-gray with whitish pigment around mouth, branchial region, eyespots, and around body pores.


Adults range from 36-45cm TL.


Captured in very deep water on soft bottoms from 750-1100m.


Known from collections off Puerto Rico, and possibly from off Haiti.


Hensley, D. A. 1985. Eptatretus mendozai, a new species of hagfish (Myxinidae) from off the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. Copeia 1985 (4): 865-869.

Mincarone, M. M. 2007. Revisao Taxonomica da Familia Myxinidae Rafinesque, 1814 (Myxiniformes). Tese de Doutorado, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

Other Notes

Distinguished from its closest relatives, Eptatretus minor and E. multidens, by higher tooth cusp counts and fewer slime pores respectively (Hensley, 1985).