Holohalaelurus punctatus (Gilchrist, 1914)
African spotted catshark
Holohalaelurus punctatus
photo by FAO

Family:  Scyliorhinidae (Cat sharks)
Max. size:  35 cm TL (male/unsexed); 26 cm TL (female)
Environment:  bathydemersal; marine; depth range 220 - 440 m
Distribution:  Western Indian Ocean: endemic to the subtropical and tropical waters of southwestern Indian Ocean, southern Mozambique, off Natal, South Africa and off Madagascar (Ref. 75585). Status of threat: a common catch in bottom trawls in Natal and southern Mozambique, yet, despite recent biodiversity trawl surveys in that region, not a single specimen has been collected from this area since 1972. ORI data sheets confirm that specimens collected between 1964 and 1972 were apparently abundant, particularly off Mozambique in May 1969, and off Durban in June 1971. The only specimens of this species that have been collected since this date have been those from Madagascar in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s (Ref. 75585).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. A broad-headed, dwarf catshark with small dark brown spots closely set on a yellow-brown or orange-brown background; small black pores on underside of head and body; no labial furrows (Ref. 5578).
Biology:  Found on the uppermost continental slopes (Ref. 244). Feeds on small fishes, crustaceans, and cephalopods (Ref. 5213). The adult males are larger than females, a characteristic unusual among sharks (Ref. 244). Manifests partial sexual segregation. Oviparous (Ref. 50449).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN); Date assessed: 01 August 2019 (A2d) Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 27.01.04
Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 23.03.94

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