Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species was designated as Galeus sp. B in Last and Stevens (1994). Relationship between this species and Galeus boardmani from southern Australia needs to be assessed.

Endemic to Australia. Recorded from off northeastern Australia (Queensland) between Rockhampton and Townsville. Distribution little understood, may be more widely distributed off northeastern Australia.
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Northeastern Australia.
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Western Pacific: Australia.
  • Gledhill, D.C., P.R. Last and W.T. White 2008 Resurrection of the genus Figaro Whitley (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) with the description of a new species from northeastern Australia. In Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds.): Descriptions of New Australian Chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper no. 22. (Ref. 76950)
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Physical Description

Size

Max. size

42.1 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 76950)); 36.9 cm TL (female)
  • Gledhill, D.C., P.R. Last and W.T. White 2008 Resurrection of the genus Figaro Whitley (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) with the description of a new species from northeastern Australia. In Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds.): Descriptions of New Australian Chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper no. 22. (Ref. 76950)
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Diagnostic Description

A very small species of catshark with the following characters: head in dorsoventral view narrowly parabolic, short 17.2-19.6% TL; small eye, its length 3.4-3.9% TL, 1.73-2.03 in snout, dorsolaterally located; well developed labial furrows , extending well beyond corners of mouth, lower furrow is slightly longer than the upper one; first dorsal fin is slightly smaller than the second one; small pelvic fins, slender, length 8.8-11.3% TL; posterior portion strongly directed posterodorsally (forming a small lobe, enveloping partly the proximo-lateral margin of clasper); strongly convex inner margin, forming a partial apron and connected to clasper dorsomedially near its base, soft tissue connecting insertions of pelvic fins is weak, not forming a prominent apron overlying ventral surface of tail; a much longer anal-fin base than second dorsal fin, base 9.9-10.9% TL, 2.4-6.0 times anal-caudal space; long caudal peduncle, anal-caudal space 1.6-4.2% TL; crest of enlarged denticles on anterior dorsal caudal-fin margin extending from about over origin of ventral caudal-fin lobe to almost mid-length of dorsal caudal-fin margin; crest of enlarged denticles originating at mid-point of caudal peduncle, extending to elevated part of ventral lobe; size at maturity for at about 38.0 cm TL; preserved color pale brown dorsally, with dark saddles and bars, lighter ventrally; pre-dorsally with about 4 larger saddles; saddles present below and between dorsal fins and extending onto caudal, these are rarely larger than eye diameter; larger saddles are pale edged, separated by narrower, less distinct bars; saddles rarely extending below the lateral midline; 35-38 monospondylous vertebrae; 85-93 precaudal; 140-149 in total (Ref. 76950).
  • Gledhill, D.C., P.R. Last and W.T. White 2008 Resurrection of the genus Figaro Whitley (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) with the description of a new species from northeastern Australia. In Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds.): Descriptions of New Australian Chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper no. 22. (Ref. 76950)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Demersal on the continental slope in depths of 310 to 420 m. Maximum size at least 41 cm total length (TL). Males reported to mature at 38 cm TL. Nothing else known of its biology.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 300 - 419 m (Ref. 76950)
  • Gledhill, D.C., P.R. Last and W.T. White 2008 Resurrection of the genus Figaro Whitley (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) with the description of a new species from northeastern Australia. In Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds.): Descriptions of New Australian Chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper no. 22. (Ref. 76950)
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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
2003
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
Kyne, P.M. & Cavanagh, R.D. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)

Reviewer/s
Shark Specialist Group Australia & Oceania Regional Group (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
An undescribed, little-known catshark recorded from a narrow distributional and bathymetric range off northeastern Australia (Queensland). There is nothing known of its biology and little fishing effort in its area of occurrence. No information available to assess the species beyond Data Deficient.
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Population

Population
No information on populations. Limited range may form a single population.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Little fishing effort in area of occurrence. No threats currently apparent.
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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. Species needs to be formally described and research conducted into life history.
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Wikipedia

Northern sawtail catshark

The northern sawtail catshark (Figaro striatus) is a little-known species of catshark, and part of the family Scyliorhinidae, endemic to northeastern Australia. It is demersal in nature and inhabits the upper continental slope at a depth of 300–420 m (980–1,380 ft). A small, slender species growing no longer than 42 cm (17 in), the northern sawtail catshark is characterized by a series of dark, narrow saddles along its back and tail, and rows of prominently enlarged dermal denticles along the upper edge of its caudal fin and the underside of its caudal peduncle. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) does not yet have enough information to assess its conservation status.

Taxonomy[edit]

The first known specimens of the northern sawtail catshark were collected during exploratory surveys conducted off northeastern Australia in the 1980s, and provisionally termed Galeus sp. B. It was formally described by Daniel Gledhill, Peter Last, and William White in a 2008 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) publication, in which they also resurrected the genus Figaro, until then considered a junior synonym of Galeus. The specific epithet striatus means "striped" in Latin. The type specimen is a 42 cm (17 in) long adult male caught south of the Saumarez Reefs, Queensland, on November 17, 1985.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The range of the northern sawtail catshark is limited to the upper continental slope off Queensland, between Rockhampton and Townsville. It is found on or near the bottom at a depth of 300–420 m (980–1,380 ft).[1][3]

Description[edit]

Reaching 42 cm (17 in) in length, the northern sawtail catshark has a firm, thin body with a mostly cylindrical cross-section. The head is short, narrow, and flattened, with a bluntly pointed snout. The eyes are horizontally oval and equipped with rudimentary nictitating membranes (protective third eyelids); beneath each is a narrow ridge, and behind is a tiny spiracle. The anterior rims of the nostrils are enlarged into triangular, outward-pointing flaps. The mouth is large and arched, with short but prominent furrows around each corner. There are around 65 upper and 61–65 lower tooth rows; each tooth has a narrow central cusp flanked by 3–5 smaller cusplets. There are five pairs of gill slits; the fourth and fifth are located over the pectoral fin bases and closer together than the others.[2][3]

The small dorsal fins have blunt apexes and straight to gently convex trailing margins; the first is slightly taller but shorter-based than the second. The origin of the first and second dorsal fins lie over the rear of the pelvic fins and anal fin respectively. The pectoral fins are small and broad, with rounded corners. The pelvic fins are long and low; adult males have slender claspers and a slight "apron" formed from the fusion of the pelvic fin inner margins. The anal fin is elongated, its base measuring roughly a tenth of the total length, and rather angular. The length of the anal fin base exceeds the distance between the anal and pelvic fins, and is comparable to the distance between the dorsal fins. The caudal fin is short and low, with a small lower lobe and a ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. The body and fins are entirely covered by minute, overlapping dermal denticles; each has an ovoid crown with a horizontal ridge leading to a marginal cusp. There are distinctive crests of enlarged, spiny denticles along the anterior half of the caudal fin upper margin, and beneath the caudal peduncle. This species is light grayish brown on the back of the body and tail, with a series of dark brown saddles numbering 10–16 before the dorsal fins, of which a few are wider than the others. The flanks, underside, and fins are whitish.[2][3]

Biology and ecology[edit]

Little is known of the natural history of the northern sawtail catshark. Males attain sexual maturity at approximately 38 cm (15 in) long.[1]

Human interactions[edit]

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has noted that there is minimal fishing activity within the northern sawtail catshark's range, but presently lacks sufficient information to assess it beyond Data Deficient.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Kyne, P.M. and R.D. Compagno (2003). "Figaro striatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved October 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Gledhill, D.C., P.R. Last, and W.T. White (2008). "Resurrection of the genus Figaro Whitley (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) with the description of a new species from northeastern Australia". In Last, P.R., W.T. White and J.J. Pogonoski. Descriptions of new Australian Chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. pp. 179–187. ISBN 0-1921424-1-0 (corrected) ISBN 1-921424-18-2 (invalid, listed in publication). 
  3. ^ a b c Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens (2009). Sharks and Rays of Australia (second ed.). Harvard University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-674-03411-2. 
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