Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Feeds on ophiuroids (Ref. 27637). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Eggs are encased in horny shells (Ref. 205).
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Distribution

Range Description

Southern Africa regional endemic known from the Western Indian off Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) and most probably also the Southeast Atlantic off South Africa and Namibia.
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Western Indian Ocean: off Kenya, Mozambique and Natal, South Africa.
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Western Indian Ocean.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 1; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 0
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Size

Maximum size: 670 mm TL
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Max. size

67.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 3181))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

First dorsal spine midly toxic. Rare, more specimens wanted.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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A shortnose chimaera with the dorsal fin spine longer than the head; 2nd dorsal fin with distinct concavity in the middle (Ref. 5578).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Little known, soft bottom dweller on the continental slope, reported from depths of 303 to 1,300 m but most commonly found at depths of 421 to 750 m.

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (body/total length): Probably sexually mature at ~35 to 40 cm BDL; ~50 to 55 cm TL (male & female).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total/body length): To at least 98 cm TL (including tail filament); 47 cm BDL.
Size at birth (cm): Unknown.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Unknown.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 421 - 750 m (Ref. 3181)
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Depth range based on 101 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 74 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 309 - 1300
  Temperature range (°C): 3.020 - 10.711
  Nitrate (umol/L): 12.098 - 35.221
  Salinity (PPS): 34.344 - 34.918
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.842 - 4.928
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.838 - 2.571
  Silicate (umol/l): 4.992 - 58.799

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 309 - 1300

Temperature range (°C): 3.020 - 10.711

Nitrate (umol/L): 12.098 - 35.221

Salinity (PPS): 34.344 - 34.918

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.842 - 4.928

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.838 - 2.571

Silicate (umol/l): 4.992 - 58.799
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 421 - 750m.
From 421 to 750 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous (Ref. 205).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Hydrolagus africanus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hydrolagus africanus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
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
2006

Assessor/s
Compagno, L.J.V. & Dagit, D.D.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a confirmed range off Southern Africa in the Western Indian from Kenya, Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). Examination of a small brown Hydrolagus sp. from the Southeast Atlantic off South Africa and Namibia also appears to be H. africanus (and for the purposes of this assessment is considered so). This species is not known to be commercially targeted or utilized and its preferred habitat is outside the range of most, if not all, local artisanal and subsistence fisheries; however, the depth range of this species broadly overlaps with the operating depths of the demersal hake trawl and other fisheries off the Western Cape coast of South Africa, which presumably take it as discarded bycatch. Available experimental catch data from the South African Marine and Coastal Management?s research vessel RV Africana (dataset from 1986 to present) needs to be examined to determine if any trends can be delineated on the relative abundance of this species. It is suggested that the current assessment of Data Deficient be reevaluated once these data have been analyzed and taxonomic issues resolved. No data are available from northern Namibia or Kenya.
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Population

Population
Nothing is known of population size or structure. Appears to be relatively uncommon, but further examination of catch records from research trawls may help in understanding relative abundance of this species. It is possible there may be separate populations in the Western Indian and Southeast Atlantic.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Not known to be commercially targeted; however, the depth range of this species broadly overlaps with the operating depths of the demersal hake trawl and other fisheries off the Western Cape coast of South Africa, and H. africanus is presumably taken as discarded bycatch. This species could be threatened by expansion of the South Africa deepwater hake trawl fishery and any extension of other fisheries into the deepwater range of Hydrolagus africanus.
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None are known to be in place. It is recommended that more data on catch and life history characteristics be collected.

The development and implementation of national management plans (e.g., under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA?Sharks) will help facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region. Namibia adopted its National Plan of Action (NPOA) in 2004. South Africa?s NPOA is drafted and at the time of writing is still awaiting government approval: it is a matter of urgency to adopt and implement this NPOA. NPOAs have not yet been developed for Mozambique or Kenya.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

African chimaera

The African chimaera (Hydrolagus africanus) is a species of fish in the Chimaeridae family found near Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, and South Africa. Its natural habitat is open seas. It is threatened by habitat loss.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Compagno, L.J.V. & Dagit, D.D. 2005. Hydrolagus africanus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 3 August 2007.
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