The first direct observations of the diversity and density of benthic epifauna from hadal depths was reported in 1965 from depths of 7300 m in the Puerto Rico Trench. The most striking part of the report from was an account of observing 200 snailfish (Liparidae) during a one mile transect by the bathyscaphe Archimède - an extraordinarily high-density of fish for hadal depths. In 2019 the submersible DSV Limiting Factor revisited the exact same site in the Puerto Rico Trench. No snailfish were observed. However, a large number of the holothurian Peniagone sp. were seen in a density similar to that reported originally for the snailfish. The holothurian has a similar exterior colour, texture and morphology to the snailfish. It is concluded that the reported hadal snailfish of the Puerto Rico Trench was in fact a misidentification of the holothurian Peniagone sp.
|Journal||Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2020|