Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

A rare shark known only from two specimens taken on the insular slopes, on or near the bottom (Ref. 244). Benthic (Ref. 58302). 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 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 244)
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Distribution

Range Description

The species is known from only two specimens in the tropical Pacific Ocean from Hawaiian Islands and the Banda Sea, southern Sulawesi.
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Pacific Ocean: Banda Sea off southern Sulawesi and the Hawaiian Islands.
  • 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 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 244)
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Western and Central Pacific: Eastern Indonesia, Hawaiian Islands (probably more widespread).
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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. and V.H. Niem 1998 Scyliorhinidae. Catsharks. p. 1279-1292. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 11146)
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Size

Maximum size: 500 mm TL
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Max. size

50.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 244))
  • 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 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 244)
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Diagnostic Description

Dark brown, without conspicuous markings on fins (Ref. 244).
  • Compagno, L.J.V. and V.H. Niem 1998 Scyliorhinidae. Catsharks. p. 1279-1292. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 11146)
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Type Information

Type for Apristurus spongiceps
Catalog Number: USNM 51590
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Vicinity of Modu Manu, or Bird Island: Center of Bird Island, S. 32 Deg., W. 12.8 (Estimated That Trawl Took Bottom At About 800 Fms. Depth, and Was Dragged Up Steep Slope), Hawaii, United States, Hawaiian Islands, Pacific
Depth (m): 1463 to 572
Vessel: Albatross
  • Type: Gilbert, C. H. 1905. Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission. 23 (for 1903): 579.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A rare shark known only from two specimens taken on insular slopes, on or near the bottom at 572 to 1,482 m depth. The holotype is a 51.4 cm TL gravid female (Hawaiian specimen). The other known specimen is a 10.5 cm TL juvenile (Sulawesi specimen).

Apristurus species are relatively small, sluggish sharks that live on or near the bottom on the upper continental slope. Diet includes crustaceans (penaeid shrimps, euphausiids), squids and small fishes. Where known reproduction is oviparous with one egg per oviduct. Egg cases are usually thick-walled and about 5 to 6.8 cm long and 2.5 to 2.9 cm wide. The anterior end of the case has a long weak fibrous thread on each corner. The posterior end usually has two small processes, each with a long coiled tendril. As in shallow water scyliorhinids the coiled tendrils are probably used to attach the egg cases to hard substrates and/or biogenic structures as they are laid.

Systems
  • Marine
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Known from seamounts and knolls
  • Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication.
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 572 - 1482 m (Ref. 11146)
  • Compagno, L.J.V. and V.H. Niem 1998 Scyliorhinidae. Catsharks. p. 1279-1292. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 11146)
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1255 - 1265
  Temperature range (°C): 3.146 - 3.146
  Nitrate (umol/L): 41.918 - 41.918
  Salinity (PPS): 34.544 - 34.544
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.559 - 1.559
  Phosphate (umol/l): 2.910 - 2.910
  Silicate (umol/l): 130.298 - 130.298

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1255 - 1265
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 572 - 1482m.
From 572 to 1482 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449).
  • 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
Huveneers, C. & Duffy, C.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Known only from the holotype, a 51.4 cm total length (TL) female caught near Bird Island, Hawaiian Islands, and a 10.5 cm TL juvenile caught in the Banda Sea, southern Sulawesi. Recorded on or near the bottom at 572 to 1,482 m depth. Insufficient information is available to assess the species beyond Data Deficient.
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Population

Population
Only two specimens known.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Unknown. Other species of deepwater Chondrichthyans are known to be captured as bycatch in deepwater fisheries. As these fisheries expand globally, consideration needs to be given to the fact that this species too may be captured incidentally in deepwater fisheries.
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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
No conservation measures are currently in place for this species.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
  • Compagno, L.J.V. and V.H. Niem 1998 Scyliorhinidae. Catsharks. p. 1279-1292. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 11146)
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Wikipedia

Spongehead catshark

The spongehead catshark (Apristurus spongiceps) is a rare species of deep-sea catshark, family Scyliorhinidae.[2] This species was only known from two specimens taken in the Pacific Ocean: an adult from near Bird Island, Hawaii, and a juvenile from the Banda Sea off Sulawesi. They are found on or near the bottoms of insular continental slopes, at depths of 570 to 1,480 meters.[3] In 2002, the spongehead catshark was seen alive in its natural habitat for the first time, from the submersible Pisces IV at a depth of about a kilometer, on the Northampton Seamount off the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.[4]

The spongehead catshark has a thick body and head, with a moderately long, broadly rounded snout. The five pairs of gill slits are very small, and the septa between them are covered with unique pleats and folds that extend above and below, over the throat. The eyes are small and the nostrils are broad, with slit-like incurrent and excurrent openings. The mouth is long, large, and broadly arched, bearing prominently expanded dental bands. The two dorsal fins are about equal in size; the pectoral fins are rather small, while the pelvic fins are high and broadly rounded. The anal fin is short, high, and rounded. The caudal fin is moderately broad. The dermal denticles are closely set and give the skin a fuzzy or felt-like texture. It is dark brown, without fin markings.[3]

The adult holotype measured 51.4 cm long and the juvenile measured 10.5 cm long.[1] The juvenile was more slender than the adult, but shared the same distinctive pleated gills. As the holotype was a gravid female, the spongehead catshark is likely oviparous.[3] The spongehead catshark belongs to the A. spongiceps species group, characterized by a short, wide snout, seven to 12 valves in the spiral intestine, the upper labial furrows subequal to or shorter than the lower furrows, and a continuous supraorbital sensory canal.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Huveneers, C. and Duffy, C. (2004). Apristurus spongiceps. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved December 20, 2008.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2008). "Apristurus spongiceps" in FishBase. December 2008 version.
  3. ^ a b c Compagno, Leonard J. V. (1984). Sharks of the World: An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Shark Species Known to Date. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization. ISBN 92-5-101384-5. 
  4. ^ Parrish, F. (Sep. 23, 2002). "Summary Log: Cruising Steeply through the Deep". NOAA Ocean Explorer. Retrieved on December 20, 2008.
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