Myxine australis

Common Name

Southern Hagfish

Year Described

Jenyns, 1842


Slime Pores
Prebranchial: 22-42
Branchial: 0
Trunk: 51-68
Tail: 8-14
Total: 86-118

Anterior unicusps: 5-7
Posterior unicusps: 6-8
Total cusps: 30-38
Tooth formula: 2/2

Body anguilliform and cylindrical. There are normally six gill pouches. No branchial pores (present in Eptratretus). Ventral finfold weakly to well developed. Caudal finfold well developed.


Body reddish brown or brown, grading to yellowish on the ventrum. Anterior part of head yellowish. Top of head dark. Gill apertures and slime pores with pale margins. Ventral finfold margin pale yellowish. Caudal finfold sometimes with pale margin.


Maximum size to 42cm TL.


Taken on soft bottoms in relatively shallow waters from 4-146m.


Southwestern Atlantic: known from S. Brazil to Argentina. Also from S. Chile.


Mincarone, M. M. and Soto, J. M. R. 2001. First record of the southern hagfish Myxine australis (Myxinidae) in Brazilian waters. Mare Magnum, 1(2): 125-127.

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

Wisner, R. L. & McMillan, C. B. 1995. Review of new world hagfishes of the genus Myxine (Agnatha, Myxinidae) with descriptions of nine new species. Fishery Bulletin 93: 530-550.

Other Notes

Brazilian specimens have higher total cusp counts than southern material (39 vs. 30-38) but otherwise are overlapping with Myxine australis (Mincarone & Soto, 2001).