Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
The genus Holohalaelurus ZBK is an obscure group of catsharks endemic to deeper waters off southern and eastern Africa, and range from the temperate southeastern Atlantic Ocean, into the tropical western Indian Ocean. Prior to this revision, it was commonly accepted that there were two valid species of Holohalaelurus ZBK , H. punctatus (Gilchrist 1914) and H. regani (Gilchrist 1922) , two synonyms, H. polystigma (Regan 1921) and H. melanostigma Norman 1939 , and that a species complex involving both of the valid species existed in the tropical west Indian Ocean.
The literature referring to Holohalaelurus ZBK is largely restricted to taxonomic descriptions of Holohalaelurus ZBK species, and basic revisions as part of larger scale works at the familial, ordinal, or class level. The exception to this is the literature available for H. regani , which is an abundant species, endemic to southern Africa, and regularly caught in demersal fishing trawls off South Africa and Namibia (Compagno & Smale, 1989; Compagno et al., 1991; Richardson et al., 2000).
Original descriptions of all the nominal species of Holohalaelurus ZBK are brief and insufficient to discriminate between the species due to the morphological conservation within the genus. The lack of detailed species descriptions, and species complexes referred to in the literature occurring along the east coast of Africa, made a revision of this genus necessary. This account is the first revisionary work dedicated to the genus Holohalaelurus ZBK .