Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits coral reefs, rocky shores, and mangrove estuaries. Free-living at 10.1 cm TL. Feeds on squid, shelled molluscs, crustaceans, and snake eels (Ref. 43278). Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Of minimal interest to fisheries (Ref. 43278). Caught rarely by demersal trammel and trawl fisheries operating inshore. Utilized for its meat and possibly fins, but of limited value due to its small size (Ref.58048).
  • 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

West Indian Ocean: currently reported as India, Pakistan, and the Persian/Arabian Gulf (Compagno 2001). However, the exact distribution of this species and the similar Grey Bamboo Shark (Chiloscyllium griseum) requires clarification; misidentification of these two species, at least in the Persian/Arabian Gulf, is likely to have led to erroneous distribution records for both. Distribution may be patchy: the species is not reported from widespread landings or surveys in Oman (A. Henderson, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, pers. comm., Henderson et al., 2007), or in India (Venkataraman et al. 2003), although the latter may be due to confusion with C. griseum.
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Western Indian Ocean: India, Pakistan, and the Persian Gulf between Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula.
  • 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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Western Indian Ocean.
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Physical Description

Morphology

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

Maximum size: 700 mm TL
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Max. size

78.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 11441))
  • Randall, J.E. 1995 Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 439 p. (Ref. 11441)
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Diagnostic Description

Mouth well in front of eyes; spineless dorsal fins far posterior on tail; greatly elongated thick precaudal tail, long and low anal fin just anterior to caudal fin, prominent predorsal and interdorsal ridges on back, dorsal fins with nearly straight posterior margins, first dorsal-fin origin opposite or just behind pelvic fin insertions, second dorsal fin usually with a longer base than first; no color pattern (Ref. 43278).
  • 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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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Found in coral reefs, lagoons, rocky shores and mangrove estuaries, between depths of 3-100 m on the bottom (Compagno 2001). This shark is less than 10 cm long when born and grows to a maximum length of 70 cm. Females lay up to four egg-cases on coral reefs, with hatching after 70-80 days (Compagno 2001). It feeds on squid, shelled molluscs, crustaceans and snake eels (Compagno 2001).

Known to associate closely with coral reefs in the Persian/Arabian Gulf: confirmed records of Arabian Carpetshark from reef environments in Bahrain (Randall 1986), Kuwait (Carpenter et al. 1997); and Saudi Arabia's Gulf coast (Krupp and Almarri 1996).

Relatively hardy to capture by trawl and exposure to air (A.B. M. Moore, pers. obs. 2007).

Systems
  • Marine
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Found on coral reefs, lagoons, rocky shores, and mangrove estuaries, depths from 3 to 100 m.
  • 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 3 - 100 m (Ref. 43278)
  • 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 2 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 24.5 - 24.5
 
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Depth: 3 - 100m.
From 3 to 100 meters.

Habitat: demersal. A common inshore to offshore bottom shark.
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Trophic Strategy

Found in coral reefs, lagoons, rocky shores, and mangrove estuaries (Ref. 43278).
  • 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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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205). Lays up to four egg-cases on coral reefs which hatch after 70-80 days (Ref. 43278).
  • 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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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Chiloscyllium arabicum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Moore, A.B.M.

Reviewer/s
Stevens, J.D., Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
This small carpetshark appears to be reasonably common; however, its distribution requires clarification as confusion with Chiloscyllium griseum may have led to incorrect reporting. Clarification of this may therefore lead to a contraction in its currently reported range/abundance. The Arabian Carpetshark (Chiloscyllium arabicum) is not targeted but appears to be a major bycatch element of trawl (and other) fisheries. Apparently it is little utilized in the Persian Gulf but probably it is used in Pakistan and India. It is reasonably hardy to trawl capture and aerial exposure but is also threatened by habitat loss throughout its range. This species is known to have close association with coral reef habitats, which are particularly prone to anthropogenic degradation and there is evidence that such habitats have been completely destroyed from some parts of its range (e.g., Bahrain). More generally, it is exposed to widespread habitat loss and modification, not least in the Persian/Arabian Gulf (drainage of Iraqi marshes and damming of rivers in Turkey affecting the northwest Gulf), coastal developments and effects to benthic communities from demersal trawling throughout much of its range. It is also known to accumulate organic pollutants such as PAHs. The threats of fishing and habitat degradation are likely to continue into the future and increase in intensity and coverage. As a result of these combined factors, this species is assessed as Near Threatened based on inferred continuing population declines approaching 30% in three generations (possibly ~27 years). Given that a proportion of discards may have a relatively high survival rate, a threatened category is not yet warranted, but the species may meet the criteria for VU A4bcd in the future. There is a need for quantitative distribution and abundance data.
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Population

Population
Common in summer in the Persian Gulf (Compagno et al. 2005). Reported as fairly common on reefs in Kuwait, especially in the spring when it is often seen resting among corals (Carpenter et al. 1997). Apparently reasonably common in trawls in Kuwait (A.B.M. Moore, pers. obs. 2007).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Apparently little utilized in the Persian Gulf (Gubanov and Schleib 1980) but probably is used in Pakistan and India.

Common as bycatch in trawls in Kuwait, where "cat sharks" (likely to contain most, if not all, C. arabicum) are reported as the second most abundant bycatch in the prawn trawl fishery, accounting for nearly 14% of all bycatch (Bishop 2002). Also reported as bycatch (as "C. arabicus") in the Bahrain shrimp fishery (Abdulqader 2001). Despite high levels of bycatch this species is only very rarely observed in local markets, at least in Kuwait (A.B.M. Moore, pers. obs. 2007), suggesting it is discarded. Caught in artisanal intertidal stake-net traps (hadra), at least in Kuwait (McEwan et al. 2001) and likely throughout The Persian/Arabian Gulf.

High levels of PAHs and benzo [a] pyrene reported from this species from Kuwait (Al-Hassan et al. 2000).

Habitat degradation is likely to be an important factor. C. arabicum is known to have close association with coral reef habitats, which are particularly prone to anthropogenic degradation. In the Persian/Arabian Gulf this includes changes due to the damming of the Tigris-Euphrates river system in Turkey and the drainage of the Iraqi marshes (Al-Yamani et al. 2007), chronic and acute (e.g., war-related) releases of oil, rapid large-scale coastal development (e.g. megastructures in the UAE), and changes to benthic communities from demersal trawling. Coastal land reclamation has accelerated in this area in recent years and, as a result, coastal reefs and other habitat have been destroyed. For example, this has resulted in the almost total loss of mangrove areas around Bahrain (Morgan 2006a).

In India, declines in general catch rates, biomass, recruitment and shifts in regular landing patterns in inshore fisheries have been linked to steep increases in the fisher population, number and efficiency of craft and gears, and associated fishing effort, as well as the degradation of coastal habitats (mangroves, coral reefs, etc.) caused by pollution of coastal waters, urbanisation, coastal developments, etc. (Morgan 2006b). Although no specific data are available it is reasonable to assume that this species has been impacted.

Commonly used in aquaria, e.g., in Kuwait (Tony McEwan, Kuwait Scientific Centre, pers. comm. to AB. Moore 30.9.2006), although this is not thought to represent a threat to populations.
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Near Threatened (NT)
  • 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 known.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; price category: unknown; price reliability:
  • Howe, J. and V.G. Springer 1993 Catalog of type specimens of recent fishes in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 5: Sharks (Chondrichthyes: Selachii). Smithson. Contrib. Zool. 540:19. (Ref. 13292)
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Wikipedia

Arabian carpetshark

The Arabian carpetshark (Chiloscyllium arabicum) is a species of carpet shark in the family Hemiscylliidae, inhabiting coral reefs and other shallow coastal habitats from the Persian Gulf to India. Reaching 78 cm (31 in) long, this shark is characterized by a slender, plain brown body, and by two dorsal fins with straight trailing margins and the second smaller but longer-based than the first. The Arabian carpetshark feeds on bony fishes and invertebrates. Reproduction is oviparous with an annual cycle; females deposit egg capsules four at a time and the young hatch after 70–80 days. This small shark is often captured as bycatch but rarely used by humans. It has been assessed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as there is increasing fishing pressure and habitat degradation within its range. It does well in aquariums and has been bred in captivity.

Taxonomy[edit]

Prior to being described as a new species in Gubanov and Schleib's 1980 Sharks of the Arabian Gulf, the Arabian carpetshark was misreported as the grey bamboo shark (C. griseum); it is uncertain whether the ranges of these two similar sharks in fact overlap.[2] No type specimens are known.[3] Other common names for this species include Arabian bamboo shark and confusing bamboo shark.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Arabian carpetshark inhabits coastal waters 3–100 m (9.8–330 ft) deep, though most are found shallower than 10 m (33 ft).[2][3] Its range extends from the Persian Gulf to Pakistan and western India; it is abundant in the Persian Gulf in spring and summer, and seldom reported from Oman and India. This demersal species favors coral reefs, lagoons, rocky coastlines, and mangrove estuaries.[1][3]

Description[edit]

The Arabian carpetshark has a long tail and is uniformly brown in color.

The Arabian carpetshark has a slender, nearly cylindrical body and a relatively long, thick, rounded snout. The nostrils are set a good distance from the snout tip and preceded by a pair of short barbels. The eyes are medium-sized and placed high on the head, each with a low ridge above and a large spiracle behind and below. The small mouth lies well forward of the eyes; there is a continuous fold of skin across the chin that wraps around the corners of the mouth. There are 26–35 upper tooth rows and 21–32 lower tooth rows. The teeth have a large central cusp and a pair of lateral cusplets. The five pairs of gill slits are short, with the fourth and fifth pairs very close together.[2][3]

The pectoral fins are small, broad, and rounded; the pelvic fins are similar and almost as large. The two dorsal fins have straight trailing margins and are spaced well apart. The first dorsal fin is as large or larger than the pelvic fins, originating behind the middle of the pelvic fin bases. The second dorsal fin is slightly smaller than the first but has a longer base. There is a prominent midline ridge along the back, which continues between the dorsal fins. The long, keel-like anal fin originates behind the second dorsal fin. The caudal fin is low and lacks a lower lobe; the upper lobe has a strong ventral notch near the tip. Adults are a plain tan color above and white below, sometimes with an orange tint on the fin margins; juveniles have faint lighter spots on the fins.[2][3] This species reaches a maximum known length of 78 cm (31 in).[5]

Biology and ecology[edit]

Commonly found sheltering inside caves and crevices, the Arabian carpetshark is a predator of bony fishes (including snake eels) and invertebrates (including stomatopods, shrimp, crabs, squid, gastropods, and echiuroid worms).[2][5] This hardy species can survive for some time out of water.[1] It is oviparous like other members of its family, with a six-month breeding season. The reproductive cycle has been documented in captivity: copulation involves the male holding onto one of the female's pectoral fins with his mouth, while inserting a single clasper into her cloaca for 5–15 minutes. When competing for mates, male sharks have been known to bite the claspers of rival males.[5] Females produce an average of 33 egg capsules per year in batches of four, that are laid over a period of 20 minutes to two days. Of those eggs, about 7% are infertile.[5][6] The egg cases have adhesive tendrils for securing them to coral, and hatch in 70–80 days at a temperature of 24 °C (75 °F).[5][7] Newly emerged young measure under 10 cm (3.9 in) long; sexual maturity is attained at a length of 45–54 cm (18–21 in).[3]

Human interactions[edit]

Small and harmless to humans, the Arabian carpetshark is one of the few shark species suitable for private aquaria.[4][7] It is collected for the aquarium trade, which is not believed to pose a substantial threat to its population.[1] The meat and possibly the fins of this shark can be used, but because of its size most individuals landed are discarded. It is captured incidentally in intertidal hadra (artisanal stake-net traps), as well as in demersal trammel and trawl nets. The Arabian carpetshark forms the predominant component of the "cat shark" catch of Kuwaiti prawn trawls, which represents the second-largest bycatch (14% of total) of the fishery. It is also caught off Bahrain and likely elsewhere. Another potentially major threat to this species is habitat degradation: coral reefs in the Persian Gulf face bottom trawling, coastal development (especially large-scale land reclamation projects such as in the United Arab Emirates), Turkish dams on the Tigris-Euphrates river system, draining of marshes in Iraq, and oil spills. Coastal habitats off India are also similarly pressured. As both fishing and habitat degradation are likely to intensify in the region, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed the Arabian carpetshark as Near Threatened.[1][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Moore, A.B.M. (2008). Chiloscyllium arabicum. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e Randall, J.E. and J.P. Hoover (1995). Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-8248-1808-3
  3. ^ a b c d e f Compagno, L.J.V. (2002). Sharks of the World: An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Shark Species Known to Date (Volume 2). Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. pp. 167–168. ISBN 92-5-104543-7.
  4. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2010). "Chiloscyllium arabicum" in FishBase. January 2010 version.
  5. ^ a b c d e Michael, S.W. (1993). Reef Sharks & Rays of the World. Sea Challengers. p. 43. ISBN 0-930118-18-9.
  6. ^ Harahush, B.K., A.B.P. Fischer and S.P. Collin (October 2007). "Captive breeding and embryonic development of Chiloscyllium punctatum Muller & Henle, 1838 (Elasmobranchii: Hemiscyllidae)". Journal of Fish Biology 71 (4): 1007–1022.
  7. ^ a b Michael, S.W. "Sharks at Home". Aquarium Fish Magazine March 2004: pp. 20–29.
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