Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Ophidiiformes
(Cusk eels) > Ophidiidae
(Cusk-eels) > Neobythitinae
Etymology: Ventichthys: The word 'vent' refers to the hydrothermal vent and 'ichthys' to fish.; biospeedoi: Named for the BIOSPEEDO expedition.. More on author: Nielsen.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range ? - 2586 m (Ref. 57890). Deep-water, preferred ?
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri
Southeast Pacific: Southeast Pacific Rise on hydrothermal vent site Oasis (17°25.38’S, 113°12.29’W, 2586 m) and observed on three additional sites, Yaquina (7º25’S, 107º48’W, 2750 m), Hobbs (17º35’S, 113º15’W, 2595 m) and Gromit (21º34’S, 114º18’W, 2840 m ).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 28.2 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57890)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 64 - 72;
Vertebrae: 52 - 53. The species has a robust body; very small, overlapping scales on head and body; thick skin; posteriorly placed, enlarged kidneys; 4 lateral lines; dorsal fin origin above tip of pectorals; base of pelvic fin below hind margin of opercle; head broad with a blunt snout; strong opercular spine covered by thick skin; upper jaw ends just behind eye; teeth granular, one median basibranchial tooth patch; anterior gill arch with 10-11 long rakers; number of rays in dorsal fin 80-89, caudal fin 8, anal fin 64-72, pelvic fin 2, pectoral fin 24-25; number of vertebrae 16-17 + 36 (in total 52-53).
The holotype, a male with spindle-formed, unripe testes, does not contain any identifiable stomach contents while the paratype was eviscerated only leaving the strangely formed kidneys which may be an adaptation to the special conditions near the vents. The capture of the two specimens using baited trap indicates a necrophagous diet; specimens grazing on the bottom. The poorly developed teeth and the presence of 10-11 long gill rakers on the anterior arch indicate that it preys upon rather small food-items. The thick skin could be an adaptation to endure the high temperatures in the hydrothermal vent area. The same condition is found in another vent-fish Thermichthys hollisi. The presence of a male without an intromittant organ shows that it is oviparous. The vent site Oasis is composed of active black smokers covered with the tubeworm polychaete Alvinellaspp., large patches of mussels, clams and stalked cirripeds. A milky fluid diffuses from crevices and collapsed lava lakes, with clouds of swimming amphipods. The two specimens were collected next to such a hole surrounded by the mytilid mussel Bathymodiolus thermophilus Kenk & Wilson, 1985, the clam Calyptogena magnifica Boss & Turner, 1980, the stalked barnacle Neolepas cf. zevinae Newman, 1979, actinostolid sea-anemones (Chondrophellia-like), the bythograeid crab Bythograea thermydron Williams, 1980, the galatheid crab Munidopsis sp. And a recently described nematocarcinid shrimp, Nematocarcinus burukowskyi Komai & Segonzac, 2005. Other fish occur in this environment such as the synaphobranchid Ilyophis saldanhai Karmovskaya & Parin, 1999, the bythitid Thermichthys hollisi (Cohen et al., 1990) and an unidentified hagfish. Additional specimens were observed at other sites (Yaquina, Hobbs, and Gromit), between 2585 and 2840 m , at places with sometimes 10 or more individuals swimming in the shimmering vent fluids with temperatures between 2 and 7°C (Ref. 57890). Eggs may be oval and pelagic which may float in a gelatinous mass (Ref. 205).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Nielsen, J.G., P.R. Møller and M. Segonzac, 2006. Ventichthys biospeedoi n. gen. et sp. (Teleostei, Ophidiidae) from a hydrothermal vent in the South East Pacific. Zootaxa 1247:13-24. (Ref. 57890)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .