Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found on the outer continental shelf and uppermost slopes (Ref. 247, 43278). Benthic (Ref. 43278). Feeds on crabs (Ref. 5578, 43278). Oviparous (Ref. 50449).
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Distribution

Range Description

A very poorly known species.
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Western Indian Ocean: off southern Mozambique and Natal, South Africa (Ref. 5578), also off the eastern shore of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Western Indian Ocean.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 0
  • Bass, A.J. 1986 Heterodontidae. p. 48. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 6576)
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Size

Maximum size: 640 mm TL
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Max. size

64.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 247)); 83 cm TL (female)
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Found on the outer continental shelf and uppermost slopes. Possibly feeds on crabs. Probably oviparous.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Dark red-brown with scattered white spots (Ref. 6576).
  • Bass, A.J. 1986 Heterodontidae. p. 48. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 6576)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Little is known of this rare benthic hornshark. Recorded from the outer continental shelf and uppermost slope in 40 to 275 m, with most records below 100 m (unusual for the family in being recorded from relatively deep water). At least one station that recorded this shark was on sand (Compagno 2001). Although eggcases have not been reported to date it is presumably oviparous. A hatchling and young individuals have been recorded from off southern Mozambique at 110 m (Compagno 2001).

Diet includes crabs (from the stomachs of two individuals) (Compagno 2001).

Systems
  • Marine
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outer continental shelf and uppermost slope
  • Compagno, L.J.V. (2001). Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Volume 2. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 1, Vol. 2. Rome, FAO. 269p.
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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 40 - 275 m (Ref. 247), usually 100 - ? m (Ref. 43278)
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 2001 Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Vol. 2. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO Spec. Cat. Fish. Purp. 1(2):269p. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 43278)
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Depth range based on 7 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 40 - 180
  Temperature range (°C): 24.082 - 24.082
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.286 - 1.286
  Salinity (PPS): 35.221 - 35.221
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.460 - 4.460
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.346 - 0.346
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.601 - 3.601

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 40 - 180
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 108 - 275m.
From 108 to 275 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Dispersal

Depth range

deepish water species found at 40 to 275 m, with most records below 100m and from trawler hauls
  • Compagno, L.J.V. (2001). Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Volume 2. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 1, Vol. 2. Rome, FAO. 269p.
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Trophic Strategy

Found on the outer continental shelf and uppermost slopes. Feeds on crabs.
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
  • Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen 1966 Modes of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p. (Ref. 205)
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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
2004

Assessor/s
Ebert, D.A.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
A rare and little-known benthic shark of the outer continental shelf and uppermost slope of southern and East Africa and the eastern Arabian Peninsula, unusual for the family Heterodontidae in being a relatively deepwater species found at 40 to 275 m, with most records below 100 m and from trawler hauls. Presumably taken as bycatch in demersal trawl fisheries. This species is known from only a very few records within its distributional range and virtually nothing is known of its biology.
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Population

Population
Nothing is known of its population structure. Apparently rare or uncommon (Compagno 2001).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Unknown, but presumably taken in trawl fisheries throughout its range, including crustacean trawlers off South Africa and Mozambique.
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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
None in effect, but further research is required.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: public aquariums
  • 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)
  • van der Elst, R. 1993 A guide to the common sea fishes of southern Africa. (3rd Ed.). Struik Publishers, Cape Town. 398 p. (Ref. 12484)
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Wikipedia

Whitespotted bullhead shark

The whitespotted bullhead shark, Heterodontus ramalheira, is a bullhead shark of the family Heterodontidae. It is found in the western Indian Ocean between latitudes 22° N to 26° S, at depths between 40 and 275 m. It can grow up to a length of 64 cm.

The whitespotted bullhead shark is found on the outer continental shelf. It feeds on crabs, and it is also oviparous.

References[edit]

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