Inshore hagfish

The inshore hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri) is a hagfish found in the Northwest Pacific, from the Sea of Korea and across eastern Japan to Taiwan. It has six pairs of gill pouches and gill apertures.[3] These hagfish are found in the sublittoral zone. They live usually buried in the bottom mud and migrate into deeper water to spawn. The inshore hagfish is the only member of the Myxinidae family having a seasonal reproductive cycle.

Inshore hagfish
Korea-Busan-Haeundae Market-Inshore hagfish-04.jpg
Inshore hagfish at the market in Busan
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Myxini
Order: Myxiniformes
Family: Myxinidae
Genus: Eptatretus
E. burgeri
Binomial name
Eptatretus burgeri
(Girard, 1855)
  • Bdellostoma burgeri Girard 1855
  • Heptatretus burgeri (Girard 1855)
  • Homea burgeri (Girard 1855)
  • Heptatrema cirrhatum (sic) Temminck & Schlegel 1850
  • Heptatretus cirrhatus (Temminck & Schlegel 1850)

Generally very little is known about hagfish reproduction and embryos are difficult to obtain for study, although laboratory breeding of Eptatretus burgeri, has succeeded.[4]

The hide of this hagfish is processed into "eel skin" in Korea and exported worldwide.

As foodEdit

In most countries hagfish are usually not eaten, but this particular species is valued as food in the Korean Peninsula and among the Koreans in Japan. It is also enjoyed by Japanese as a local delicacy in some regions, particularly Nagasaki and Niigata Prefectures. It is known as bù shì nián máng mán (布氏粘盲鰻, 無目鰻, 蒲氏粘盲鰻, 青眠鰻, 龍筋, 鰻背) in Mandarin,[5] kkomjangeo (꼼장어) or meokjangeo (먹장어) in Korean, and nuta-unagi (ヌタウナギ) in Japanese.

As with all hagfish, the inshore hagfish produces slime when agitated. This is obtained by placing a live inshore hagfish into a container and knocking the container with a stick.

Kkomjangeo bokkeum (꼼장어 볶음), Korean stir-fried fish dish made with inshore hagfish.
Eating inshore hagfish at a market in Busan, South Korea.


  1. ^ Froese, R.; Pauly, D. (2017). "Myxinidae". FishBase version (02/2017). Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  2. ^ Van Der Laan, Richard; Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ronald (11 November 2014). "Family-group names of Recent fishes". Zootaxa. 3882 (1): 1–230. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3882.1.1. PMID 25543675.
  3. ^ Fishbase - Eptatretus burgeri
  4. ^ Holland, ND (2007). "Hagfish embryos again: The end of a long drought". BioEssays. 29 (9): 833–6. doi:10.1002/bies.20620. PMID 17691082.
  5. ^ Species: Eptatretus burgeri (Girard, 1855)

External linksEdit