Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found on the continental shelf on muddy, sandy and calcareous bottoms. Also occurs in shallow brackish water. Feeds mainly on crustaceans and occasionally on bony fishes, squids, and coelenterates. Viviparous (with yolk-sac placenta), with 1 to 7 young per litter. Catches consisting of mainly adults of one sex suggest at least partial sexual segregation. Utilized for human consumption.
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Distribution

Range Description

Western Atlantic: Northern Gulf of Mexico between Florida and the Mississippi River Delta (USA). Venezuela (Curaçao), Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and south to southern Brazil (Sao Paulo State). In Brazil, occurs off Cabo Orange, near Cabo Norte, Mucuripe, Fortaleza, Recife, Maceio, Salvador, Vitoria, Santos, Espirito Santo and Sao Paulo (Compagno in prep. b)
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Western Atlantic: northern coast of Venezuela southward to Brazil.
  • Cervigón, F., R. Cipriani, W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, M. Hendrickx, A.J. Lemus, R. Márquez, J.M. Poutiers, G. Robaina and B. Rodriguez 1992 Fichas FAO de identificación de especies para los fines de la pesca. Guía de campo de las especies comerciales marinas y de aquas salobres de la costa septentrional de Sur América. FAO, Rome. 513 p. Preparado con el financiamento de la Comisión de Comunidades Europeas y de NORAD. (Ref. 5217)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=5217&speccode=7 External link.
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Western Atlantic.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 700 mm TL
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Max. size

70.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217))
  • Cervigón, F., R. Cipriani, W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, M. Hendrickx, A.J. Lemus, R. Márquez, J.M. Poutiers, G. Robaina and B. Rodriguez 1992 Fichas FAO de identificación de especies para los fines de la pesca. Guía de campo de las especies comerciales marinas y de aquas salobres de la costa septentrional de Sur América. FAO, Rome. 513 p. Preparado con el financiamento de la Comisión de Comunidades Europeas y de NORAD. (Ref. 5217)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=5217&speccode=7 External link.
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Type Information

Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 187721
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1958
Locality: Off Surinam
Depth (m): 69 to 69
Vessel: Oregon
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Holotype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 156930
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1957
Locality: Surinam, Suriname, Atlantic
Vessel: Coquette
  • Holotype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 187720
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Off Surinam
Depth (m): 40
Vessel: Oregon
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 187695
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Off Surinam
Depth (m): 31 to 31
Vessel: Oregon
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 187693
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Off British Guiana
Depth (m): 46
Vessel: Oregon
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 187697
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1957
Locality: Off Surinam [sic]., Suriname, Atlantic
Depth (m): 26
Vessel: Coquette
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 187698
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Off Surinam
Depth (m): 22 to 22
Vessel: Coquette
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 187723
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Off Surinam
Depth (m): 26 to 26
Vessel: Coquette
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 187938
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Off Surinam
Depth (m): 51 to 51
Vessel: Coquette
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 196546
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Off Surinam: Atlantic, Atlantic
Depth (m): 22 to 22
Vessel: Coquette
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Paratype; Paratype for Mustelus higmani Springer & Lowe
Catalog Number: USNM 221724
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1958
Locality: Off Surinam, Suriname, Atlantic
Depth (m): 40
Vessel: Oregon
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.; Paratype: Springer, S. & Lowe, R. 1963. Copeia. 1963 (2): 245, fig. 1; table 1.; Howe, J. C. & Springer, V. G. 1993. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. No. 540: 7.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Found on the continental shelf on muddy, sandy and calcareous bottoms. Also occurs in shallow brackish water, and estuarine areas. In northern Brazil, caught in depths of 47 to 78 m (Bezerra et al. 1993, Gadig 1994). Compagno (in preparation b) reports occurrence from close inshore to 130 m depth. However, has also been recorded at depths of at least 1,281 m on the continental slope in the Gulf of Mexico.

Compagno (in prep. b) reports a maximum size of 64 cm TL (does not specify locality). Maximum length (northern Rio de Janeiro State): female 61.3 cm TL; male 58 cm TL. Females attain maturity around 42.5 cm TL in Brazil (Gadig 1994, Faria 2001) and males mature at 4 cm TL in northern Brazil (Gadig 1994) and at 47.5 cm TL in Rio de Janeiro State (southern Brazil) (Faria 2001). Size at birth: in Rio de Janeiro State, the largest embryo was 22.9 cm TL, and the smallest captured individual was 21.6 cm TL. Viviparous (with yolksac placenta), with 1 to 7 young per litter, with an average of four in southern Rio de Janeiro State (Faria 2001), and most commonly 3 to 5 (Compagno in prep. b).

Feeds mainly on crustaceans and occasionally on bony fishes, squids, and coelenterates.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; brackish; marine; depth range ? - 900 m (Ref. 55584)
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Depth range based on 31 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 19 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 22 - 850
  Temperature range (°C): 24.485 - 26.897
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.608 - 4.106
  Salinity (PPS): 35.683 - 36.420
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.949 - 4.616
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.174 - 0.380
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.313 - 4.128

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 22 - 850

Temperature range (°C): 24.485 - 26.897

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.608 - 4.106

Salinity (PPS): 35.683 - 36.420

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.949 - 4.616

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.174 - 0.380

Silicate (umol/l): 2.313 - 4.128
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 0 - 101m.
Recorded at 101 meters.

Habitat: demersal. Found on the continental shelf on muddy, sandy and calcareous bottoms. Also occurs in shallow brackish water. Feeds mainly on crustaceans and occasionally on bony fishes, squids, and coelenterates. Viviparous (with yolk-sac placenta), with 1 to 7 young per litter. Catches consisting of mainly adults of one sex suggest at least partial sexual segregation. Utilized for human consumption.
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Trophic Strategy

Found on the continental shelf on muddy, sandy and calcareous bottoms. Also occurs in shallow brackish water. Feeds mainly on crustaceans and occasionally on bony fishes, squids, and coelenterates.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta (Ref. 244).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Faria, V. & Furtado, M.

Reviewer/s
Musick, J.A., Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Stevens, J.D. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Mustelus higmani is a small (to 64 cm total length) and presumably fast-growing widespread mustelid. It is locally common to abundant where it occurs in the tropical Western Atlantic (northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil). It is probably taken as bycatch in coastal fisheries throughout its range, however at this stage information is only available from Brazil. In Brazil it is taken as bycatch in shrimp trawl and gillnet fisheries, marketed in some regions (although at low value), and discarded in others. Although taken in numerous fisheries, it is considered to be Least Concern due to its widespread distribution, productive biology (for a chondrichthyan) and common to abundant status. Information is lacking from other parts of its range, but the situation elsewhere is thought to be similar to Brazil (which comprises the greater part of its distribution). However, further research is required and monitoring of catches in all parts of its range is necessary.
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Population

Population
This species is locally common to abundant where it occurs (Compagno in preparation b).

Brazil:
Described as very abundant off the northern coast of Brazil (Amapá State) based on samples in 1987 (Bezerra 1993) although there is no information available for this area today. At the present time it is known to be abundant off northern Rio de Janeiro, southern Brazil (possibly the largest population is at its southern range limit) (Faria and Di Beneditto 2000, Faria 2001). The distribution of this species along the northeastern coast of Brazil is unclear.

Possible nursery area in northern Rio de Janeiro in shallow estuarine waters (5?9 m). Birth occurs in summer months (December to February) and juveniles are present year-round (Faria 2001).

Season of abundance: off the northern Rio de Janeiro coast this species peaks in abundance (both males and females) in summer (December to February). Adult females have been sampled in shallow estuarine waters only in summer months, suggesting a seasonal reproductive and/or feeding migration (Faria 2001).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Shrimp trawl fisheries in northern Brazil (Amapá State) (Bezerra et al. 1993, Gadig 1994) and southern Brazil: northern Rio de Janeiro (bycatch). Caught in gillnets in northern Rio de Janeiro (more selective for adults) (Faria and Di Beneditto 2000, Faria 2001). Species-specific catch data are not available for these fisheries.

There is no information available on catches in other parts of the species? range.

UTILISATION:
In Amapá State, the bycatch is discarded. In northern Rio de Janeiro State it is retained, but has low value.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Required: Monitoring of fisheries and community-based initiatives regarding habitat management. Data are specifically required from outside of Brazil, however, catch monitoring should also be undertaken in that country.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial
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Wikipedia

Smalleye smooth-hound

The smalleye smooth-hound, Mustelus higmani, is a houndshark of the family Triakidae, found on the continental shelves of the western Atlantic between latitudes 11° N and 36° S, from the surface to 900 m. Its length is up to 70 cm.

Reproduction is viviparous, with 1 to 7 pups in a litter.

References[edit]

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