Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found on the continental shelves, (Ref. 244), on or near the bottom (Ref. 30573). Attains a maximum size of 37.0 cm TL; female of 36.8 cm TL was gravid and contained eight egg cases, four in each uterus (Ref. 86593). Feeds on shrimps. Collection by deep-sea shrimp trawlers may indicate that the species could have a wider depth distribution, possibly down to 280 m (Ref. 86593). Not utilized at present (Ref. 244).
  • Akhilesh, K.V., K K. Bineesh, C.P.R. Shanis, B.A. Human and U. Ganga 2011 Rediscovery and description of the quagga shark, Halaelurus quagga (Alcock, 1899) (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) from the southwest coast of India. Zootaxa 2781:40-48. (Ref. 86593)
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Distribution

Range Description

Western Indian Ocean: Somalia, India (Compagno 1984).
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Western Indian Ocean: Somalia (Indian Ocean coast) and India (Arabian Sea), offshore on continental slope (Ref. 86593).
  • Akhilesh, K.V., K K. Bineesh, C.P.R. Shanis, B.A. Human and U. Ganga 2011 Rediscovery and description of the quagga shark, Halaelurus quagga (Alcock, 1899) (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) from the southwest coast of India. Zootaxa 2781:40-48. (Ref. 86593)
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Western Indian Ocean: Somalia and India.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 350 mm TL
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Max. size

31.5 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 86593)); 36.8 cm TL (female)
  • Akhilesh, K.V., K K. Bineesh, C.P.R. Shanis, B.A. Human and U. Ganga 2011 Rediscovery and description of the quagga shark, Halaelurus quagga (Alcock, 1899) (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) from the southwest coast of India. Zootaxa 2781:40-48. (Ref. 86593)
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Found on the continental shelves. Not utilized at present.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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A small shark with numerous (>20) vertical stripes on the body without dark spots, snout tip knoblike but not prominently upturned. Eyes in adults 12–13 times in distance from snout to first dorsal origin. Anterior nasal flaps sub triangular. Gills dorsolaterally placed and elevated above the mouth level. First dorsal-fin origin about opposite pelvic-fin insertion. Light brown above with pale ventral side, dark brown cross bands on the body (Ref. 86593).
  • Akhilesh, K.V., K K. Bineesh, C.P.R. Shanis, B.A. Human and U. Ganga 2011 Rediscovery and description of the quagga shark, Halaelurus quagga (Alcock, 1899) (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) from the southwest coast of India. Zootaxa 2781:40-48. (Ref. 86593)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A little known catshark preferring the tropical offshore waters of the continental shelf and found on or near the bottom at depths of 54-186 m (Compagno 1984). The biology of this species is largely unknown, but size at birth is ~8 cm total length (TL), males mature at 28-35 cm TL and it reaches a maximum size of about 35 cm (Compagno 1984).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 54 - 187 m (Ref. 58018)
  • Bogutskaya, N.G. 2007 Preliminary assignment of coordinates to type localities in the Catalog of Fishes. Unpublished dbf file. (Ref. 58018)
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Depth range based on 3 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 60 - 65
  Temperature range (°C): 23.296 - 23.296
  Nitrate (umol/L): 8.732 - 8.732
  Salinity (PPS): 35.456 - 35.456
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.338 - 3.338
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.867 - 0.867
  Silicate (umol/l): 9.298 - 9.298

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 60 - 65
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 54 - 186m.
From 54 to 186 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Trophic Strategy

Feeds on shrimps. Collection of H. quagga from deepsea shrimp trawlers indicate that the species could have a wider depth distribution, possibly down to 280 m (Ref. 86593).
  • Akhilesh, K.V., K K. Bineesh, C.P.R. Shanis, B.A. Human and U. Ganga 2011 Rediscovery and description of the quagga shark, Halaelurus quagga (Alcock, 1899) (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) from the southwest coast of India. Zootaxa 2781:40-48. (Ref. 86593)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Halaelurus quagga

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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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 Quagga Catshark (Halaelurus quagga) is a very poorly known, small demersal catshark occurring in tropical offshore waters of the Somalian and Indian continental shelf in the western Indian Ocean. Occurs at depths of 54-186 m. The biology of this species is largely unknown, but it reaches a maximum size of about 35 cm TL. It is a potential bycatch of demersal trawl and other demersal fisheries operating within its range, but no specific details are available. Insufficient information is available to assess this species beyond Data Deficient at present. Research is required on this species' abundance, full distribution and capture in fisheries.
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Population

Population
Unknown.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is presumably taken as bycatch in demersal trawl and other demersal fisheries operating within its range, although no specific information is available. Demersal fishing pressure is very intensive off India and Somalia but little information is currently available on the elasmobranch catch (Young et al. 2006).
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Data deficient (DD)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No management or conservation efforts are currently in place. Research is required on this species? occurrence, life-history parameters, capture in fisheries and population trends.

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
  • Coppola, S.R., W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, N. Scialabba and K.E. Carpenter 1994 SPECIESDAB: Global species database for fishery purposes. User's manual. FAO Computerized Information Series (Fisheries). No. 9. Rome, FAO. 103 p. (Ref. 171)
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Wikipedia

Quagga catshark

The quagga catshark (Halaelurus quagga) is a species of catshark, belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. A small, slim-bodied shark reaching 37 cm (15 in) in length, it has a distinctive color pattern of narrow, dark brown vertical bars, which resemble those of the quagga. Its head is short and flattened, with a pointed snout tip that is not upturned.

Little is known of the quagga catshark's natural history, as it is known only from nine specimens caught off southwestern India and eastern Somalia. Inhabiting the offshore waters of continental shelf at depths of 59–220 m (194–722 ft) or more, it is a bottom-dwelling predator of shrimps. It exhibits an oviparous mode of reproduction, with a record of a female containing eight eggs that were enclosed in brown capsules bearing long tendrils at the corners. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presently lacks sufficient data to assess the conservation status of this species. It is not economically valued but is taken as bycatch.

Taxonomy[edit]

Drawing of the quagga catshark type specimen from Illustrations of the Zoology of the Royal Indian Marine Survey Ship Investigator (1900), which complemented Alcock's description.

The first specimen of the quagga catshark was a 27 cm (11 in) long adult male collected by the paddle steamer RIMS Investigator from a depth of 187 m (614 ft) off the Malabar Coast of India. It was described by British naturalist Alfred William Alcock in A Descriptive Catalogue of the Indian Deep-sea Fishes in the Indian Museum, published in 1899. He assigned the new species to the genus Scyllium (a synonym of Scyliorhinus) and named it after the quagga (Equus quagga quagga) because of their similar color patterns. Later authors moved this species to the genus Halaelurus.[2][3]

Only nine quagga catshark specimens have been recorded. In addition to Alcock's type specimen, four males were trawled from off the eastern Somalian coast by the research ship RV Anton Bruun in 1964.[4] Four more individuals, two male and two female, were found amongst the contents of commercial fishing trawls conducted off Quilon, India in 2010.[5] A male specimen reported from the Gulf of Aden in 1939 was later re-identified as a speckled catshark (H. boesemani).[4]

Description[edit]

Indian specimen of a quagga catshark, showing the dorsally positioned eyes and gill slits, and the non-upturned snout tip.

Slender and firm-bodied, the quagga catshark has a short and flattened head with a pointed snout. The slightly protruding tip of the snout is not upturned like in some other Halaelurus species. The anterior rims of the nostrils bear triangular flaps of skin. The small, horizontally oval eyes are placed high on the head and have rudimentary nictitating membranes; below the eyes are thick ridges, and behind them are tiny spiracles. The rather large mouth is curved, with the upper teeth exposed when closed. There are short furrows at the corners of the mouth.[3] The jaws contain 26–28 upper and 27 lower tooth rows on each side; in addition, there are three tooth rows at the upper symphysis (jaw midpoint) and one row at the lower. The teeth have three cusps.[6] The five pairs of gill slits are placed higher than the level of the mouth; the fifth pair are smaller than the rest.[3][5]

The moderately large and rounded pectoral fins are positioned fairly close to the pelvic fins.[3] Adult males have thin, tapering claspers with a denticle-covered knob on the outer side near the tip.[4] The first dorsal fin is placed just behind the pelvic fin bases, while the larger second dorsal fin is placed just behind the anal fin. The anal fin is larger than the second dorsal fin and comparable in size to the pelvic fins. The caudal fin has a small but discernible lower lobe and a large upper lobe with a notch in its trailing margin.[3] The thick skin is covered by dermal denticles, which have arrowhead-shaped crowns with a central ridge and three posterior teeth.[6] This shark has a striking dorsal color pattern consisting of over 20 narrow, dark brown vertical bars on a light brown background; the bars run from the head to the tail and extend onto the dorsal fins. The underside is off-white, and the pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins have pale trailing margins. The largest known specimen is 37 cm (15 in) long.[3][5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The known specimens of the quagga catshark have been collected from the Laccadive Sea off southwestern India and from the Indian Ocean off Somalia. The Indian sharks were caught between the depths of 90 and 220 m (300 and 720 ft) or possibly 280 m (920 ft), while the Somalian sharks were caught at depths of 59 to 70 m (194 to 230 ft).[4][5] This is a bottom-dwelling species found far from shore over the continental shelf.[3]

Biology and ecology[edit]

The diet of the quagga catshark consists of deep-living shrimps. Its reproduction is oviparous like the other members of its genus. One of the female Indian specimens was gravid with eight eggs, divided evenly between the two oviducts. The eggs are enclosed in brown purse-shaped capsules measuring 3.8–4.0 cm (1.5–1.6 in) in length, with long coiled tendrils at their four corners.[5] The smallest known specimen is 8 cm (3.1 in) long, which is probably close to the size at hatching. Males reach sexual maturity at between 28 and 35 cm (11 and 14 in) long; female maturation size is unknown.[3][5]

Human interactions[edit]

The quagga catshark is harmless and is not utilized by humans.[7] It is caught incidentally by demersal fisheries in bottom trawls and potentially other gear; such fishing activity is very intense in Indian and Somalian waters, though specific data on this species is lacking. Therefore, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed it as Data Deficient.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cronin, E.S. (2009). "Halaelurus quagga". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  2. ^ Alcock, A.W. (1899). A Descriptive Catalogue of the Indian Deep-sea Fishes in the Indian Museum. Trustees of the Indian Museum. p. 17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Compagno, L.J.V. (1984). Sharks of the World: An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Shark Species Known to Date. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. p. 331. ISBN 9251013845. 
  4. ^ a b c d Springer, S.; D’Aubrey, J.D. (1972). "Two new scyliorhinid sharks from the east coast of Africa with notes on related species". Oceanographic Research Institute, Investigational Report 29. pp.1–15.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Akhilesh, K.V.; Bineesh, K.K.; Rajool Shanis, C.P.; Human, B.; Ganga, U. (2011). "Rediscovery and description of the quagga shark, Halaelurus quagga (Alcock, 1899) (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) from the southwest coast of India". Zootaxa 2781: 40–48. 
  6. ^ a b Springer, S. (1979). "A Revision of the Catsharks, Family Scyliorhinidae". NOAA Technical Report, NMFS Circular 422. pp. 1–152.
  7. ^ Froese, R.; Pauly, D., ed. (2011). "Halaelurus quagga". FishBase. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
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