The fish under was discovered within the mouth of a Lingcod lately and created fairly a stir on social media when the pictures by Rugged Level Lodge have been shared on social media. What species of fish was this?
I did NOT know the ID of this fish however fortunately Andy Lamb shared his data that this was a juvenile Ragfish. One of many exceptional issues about this species is that it’s actually limp, therefore RAGfish
Ragfish are Icosteus aenigmaticus and could be 2.13 meter lengthy (7 toes).
From Andy’s “Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest“:
“The Ragfish normally lives in deep water an is termed a bathypelagic species. Nonetheless, this fish is usually discovered shallower as a juvenile. It’s solely an occassional Pacific Northwest customer, normally throughout heat climate occasions . . . A really limp, flappy physique supported by a cartilaginous skeleton.”
Andy confirmed that sightings are vrare. Then, one other juvenile was sighted due to Heather Lord and Nick Felch. This one was dwell and within the space of Clayoquot Sound.
Extra concerning the species from Dr. Milton Love’s “Definitely Extra Than You Need to Know Concerning the Fishes of the Pacific Coast“:
“Icosteus means “to yield” and “bone” in Greek, referring to the limp physique and “aenigmaticus means “puzzling” in Greek. “Ragfish” comes from its Über-limpness . . .
Ranges: Okhotsk Sea and Pacific Coast of Honshu to Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska to Level Loma (Southern California). Larvae have been taken additional southwards, off northern most Baja California . . . .
Salient traits: Oh so flabby is the ragfish; that’s the character you do want; but when, by likelihood, you’re glad – not; we’ll let you know different issues they’ve. The juvies: noticed, scaled, and rounded; have pelvic fins to maintain them grounded; adults lack pelvics, spots and scales; are brown and purple, each fems and males.”
With thanks too to Dr. John Ford for relaying the second juvenile Ragfish sighting.