Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits the outer continental shelf (Ref. 30573). Known only from the holotype. The presence of a very thin-walled, large egg-case in each uterus of the holotype suggests that the species may be ovoviviparous, and presumably have had two young in a litter (Ref. 244). Experts classify this species as oviparous (Ref. 50449). Its large mouth, small teeth, and large pharynx with gillraker papillae might allow it to feed on very small invertebrates, according to S. Springer.
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Distribution

Range Description

Western Indian Ocean: Somalia (Compagno in prep). Type locality is Southwest of Cape Guardafui, Somalia (Springer 1968).
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Western Indian Ocean: off Somalia.
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Off Somalia.
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Physical Description

Size

Max. size

46 cm TL (female)
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Known only from the holotype. The presence of a very thin-walled, large egg-case in each uterus of the holotype suggests that the species may be ovoviviparous, and presumably have had two young in a litter. Its large mouth, small teeth, and large pharynx with gillraker papillae might allow it to feed on very small invertebrates, according to S. Springer.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Type Information

Holotype for Ctenacis fehlmanni
Catalog Number: USNM 202969
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): E. Chin et al.
Year Collected: 1964
Locality: Somali Coast, Somalia, Indian
Depth (m): 75 to 175
Vessel: Anton Bruun
  • Holotype: Springer, S. 1968. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 81 (56): 614, figs. 1-4, 5c.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found on the outer continental shelf, where it is thought to occur from 70?170 m depth (Springer 1968).

Maximum total length (TL) is reported at 46 cm (Compagno et al. 2005). The mode of development of this species is uncertain, though the presence of a very thin-walled (rather than thick-walled) large egg-case in each uterus of the holotype suggests that the species may be ovoviviparous rather than oviparous, and if this is the case, the holotype is thought to have had two young in a litter (Compagno 1984).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 70 - 170 m (Ref. 10004)
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Depth: 70 - 170m.
From 70 to 170 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabits the outer continental shelf. Known only from the holotype. Its large mouth, small teeth, and large pharynx with gillraker papillae might allow it to feed on very small invertebrates, according to S. Springer.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Cronin, E.S.

Reviewer/s
Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
The Harlequin Catshark (Ctenacis fehlmanni) is a small, (to at least 46 cm TL) outer shelf dwelling catshark, known only from 70?170 m depth off Somalia. Little is known about the biology or ecology of this species. This species may be taken as bycatch of multi-species fisheries but no information is currently available from the area in which it occurs. Insufficient information is available to assess this species beyond Data Deficient and research is required on catch levels, life-history and threats to enable reassessment.
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Population

Population
Known only from a few specimens (Compagno et al. 2005) and therefore population size is unknown.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is small and would be vulnerable to capture in demersal trawl fisheries and some net fisheries. Sharks are reported to play an important role in both the artisanal and traditional Somali fisheries, although no information is available on the catch species composition and other demersal species are reportedly lightly exploited (FAO 2007). This species is very small and is probably not targeted, although it may be subject to bycatch. Although little specific information is available on artisanal fisheries in Somali waters, small-scale fisheries in nearby countries (such as Oman) tend to be opportunistic, using a variety of net-types to catch as much as possible, and similar practices may be used in Somalia (A. Henderson pers. comm. 2007).
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No management or conservation efforts are currently in place. Information on biology, ecology and importance in fisheries is required to further assess status and any future conservation needs. If taken, catches require monitoring, particularly as deeper fisheries expand worldwide.

The development and implementation of management plans (national and/or regional e.g., under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA-Sharks) are required to facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Harlequin catshark

The harlequin catshark (Ctenacis fehlmanni) is a species of finback catshark, part of the family Proscylliidae, and the only member of the genus Ctenacis. This shark is found in the western Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, at depths between 70 and 170 m. The 46 cm holotype was the only specimen that was ever found.

References[edit]

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