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).
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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.
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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
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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)
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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).
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Ecology

Habitat

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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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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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 40 - 275 m (Ref. 247), usually 100 - ? m (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
 
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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.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Distinct pairing with embrace (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)
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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
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Wikipedia

Whitespotted bullhead shark

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

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

References

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