IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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Squatina tergocellatoides (Chen, 1963) ZBK

Squatina tergocellatoides, Chen 1963 ZBK : 99, Fig 28, valid, holotype (unique): THUP 00348 (Eschmeyer, 2005). Figure 6.

Common name. Ocellated angel shark

Etymology. Named in reference to the patterns of ocelli on the pectoral fins.

Distribution. Endemic to the WNP including the south China Sea, and waters surrounding northern Taiwan (Compagno et al., 2005a), and northwestern Malaysia (Yano et al., 2005).

Remarks. Additional pictures from Yano et al. (2005) confirm that the coloration and dorsal origin posterior of the pelvic fin tips are diagnostic for this species. There are two other features that are potential characters for S. tergocellatoides ZBK present in photographs but require further confirmation. Examination of photographs of fresh S. tergocellatoides ZBK specimens suggests that the caudal fin has a unique triangular shape to WNP squatinids in the ventral lobe of the caudal fin. Additionally, Compagno (in press) suggested that the nasal barbels are particularly ornate in S. tergocellatoides ZBK , which also is evident in photographs from Yano et al. (2005). Due to a lack of specimens, these characters could not be confirmed in this study.

Attempts to examine or obtain photographs the S. tergocellatoides ZBK holotype for examination were unsuccessful; the holotype (THUP 00348) is believed to be lost.

Discussion

Of the four reported WNP squatinids, Squatina japonica ZBK and S. tergocellatoides ZBK are distinct from the other two WNP species in that their pelvic fin tips do not reach the origin of the first dorsal fin base. Unique characters distinguishing S. japonica ZBK and S. tergocellatoides ZBK from one another include a prominent row of midback thorns and unique dorsal coloration (Fig 4) for S. japonica ZBK and the distinct paired ocellus pattern (Fig 6), which is exclusive to S. tergocellatoides ZBK . Additional distinguishing characters for S. tergocellatoides ZBK are the fringing on the nasal barbels and the caudal fin shape, but more photographs or specimens should be examined to confirm these characters.

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