Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

A common inshore to offshore catshark. Prefers to feed on small bony fishes and crustaceans, also cephalopods (Ref. 244). Oviparous (Ref. 50449).
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Distribution

Range Description

A limited distribution in Eastern South Atlantic and Western Indian Ocean, common inshore to offshore on the continental shelf and upper slope of South Africa, uncommon to rare northwestwards to KwaZulu-Natal and northeastwards to Namibia. Depths recorded 26 to 530 m, possibly confined to deep water (420 m) off KwaZulu Natal than off the Cape Provinces of South Africa, where it occurs in shallow bays such as False Bay and Table Bay (Compagno in prep. b). This may be an example of tropical submergence, in which minimum depth range becomes greater in warmer waters.
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Southeast Atlantic: Lüderitz, Namibia to central Natal, South Africa.
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Southeastern Atlantic.
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Physical Description

Morphology

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

Maximum size: 1220 mm TL
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Max. size

122 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 244))
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Diagnostic Description

Bright yellow or golden spots on a dark grey body with irregular blotches and saddles (Ref. 5578), cream below (Ref. 5510); 2nd dorsal much smaller than 1st (Ref. 5578). Small anterior nasal flaps that do not reach mouth, no nasoral grooves (Ref. 244).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Oviparous, laying one egg from each of the paired oviducts at a time, rate of deposition per year unknown. Maximum total length 122 cm, but most of over 200 specimens examined were below 100 cm. Size at hatching near 25 to 27 cm (size of smallest free-living individual). Males immature at 27 to 84 cm, adolescent at 61 to 83 cm, and adult at 72 to 102 cm. Females immature at 25 to 73 cm, adolescent at 55 to 80 cm, and adult at 75 to 88 cm (Bass et al. 1975, Compagno et al. 1989). Both adults and juveniles tend to occupy rocky reef habitats more than soft bottom substrates (D. Ebert, pers.comm. 2004).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 26 - 495 m (Ref. 5578)
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Depth range based on 531 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 234 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 28.5 - 585.216
  Temperature range (°C): 6.057 - 19.831
  Nitrate (umol/L): 3.346 - 26.999
  Salinity (PPS): 34.402 - 35.345
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.111 - 5.048
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.477 - 2.172
  Silicate (umol/l): 6.496 - 22.846

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 28.5 - 585.216

Temperature range (°C): 6.057 - 19.831

Nitrate (umol/L): 3.346 - 26.999

Salinity (PPS): 34.402 - 35.345

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.111 - 5.048

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.477 - 2.172

Silicate (umol/l): 6.496 - 22.846
 
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Depth: 26 - 495m.
From 26 to 495 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Trophic Strategy

Feeds on fish, cephalopods and crustaceans (Ref. 5578).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous, with a single egg per oviduct at a time (Ref. 244). Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Size upon hatching below 31 cm (size of young with umbilical scars) (Ref. 244).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Scyliorhinus capensis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Scyliorhinus capensis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
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
2004

Assessor/s
Compagno, L.J.V., Krose M. & Brash, J.

Reviewer/s
Fowler, S.L., Human, B. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Scyliorhinus capensis is a relatively large yellow spotted catshark endemic to southern Namibia and most of South Africa. It is moderately common on the offshore banks, which are heavily fished by a large demersal hake trawl fishery. They are taken as discarded bycatch in this fishery and may also be affected by habitat degradation from trawling. Catch and trend data are lacking, but there is concern that rates of bycatch may be unsustainable. Although there are regions within the range of the hake fishery that are untrawlable, which likely serve as refuges for S. capensis (particularly given that they seem to prefer rocky reefs to soft bottom habitat), the species is assessed as Near Threatened because of concern regarding bycatch levels. Population trends require monitoring.
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Population

Population
Possible single population throughout its range.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is not targeted, but regularly caught, mostly as unutilised bycatch in the large demersal South African hake trawl fishery, and probably in other benthic fisheries. Its chief fishery, the trawl fishery for hake species, is regulated but based on sustainability for hake, not for this or other elasmobranchs of the hake fishing zone. No statistics are available on catches. It is also occasionally caught by skiboat anglers and of minor interest in the international aquarium trade. Habitat degradation may occur as a result of trawling on the fishing grounds where it occurs, although there should be some areas of refuge over untrawlable grounds. None of its habitat is legally protected.
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Near Threatened (NT)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Need for monitoring of bycatch and potential habitat degradation by demersal trawl fisheries.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest; gamefish: yes
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Wikipedia

Yellowspotted catshark

The yellowspotted catshark, Scyliorhinus capensis, is a rare catshark of the family Scyliorhinidae. It is found in the southeast Atlantic, from Lüderitz, Namibia to central Natal, South Africa, between latitudes and 37° S. It can grow up to a length of about 1.22 metres (4 ft 0 in). The reproduction of this catshark is oviparous.

Description[edit]

The yellowspotted catshark is a long slender fish with rough skin. The upperparts are light grey, copiously spotted with small golden-yellow spots. There are eight or nine dark patches on the back which bridge the spine. The underside is cream-coloured. Small flaps cover the nostrils but do not extend as far as the mouth and there are no nasoral grooves. There are two triangular dorsal fins, the front one considerably larger than the rear one.[2][3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The yellowspotted catshark is found in the seas around the coast of southern Africa at depths down to about 500 metres (1,600 ft). Its range extends from Lüderitz in Namibia to central Natal.[2] Although fairly common off the coast of South Africa it occurs less frequently and in deeper waters in the more tropical parts of its range in Namibia and Natal. Although seen over sandy bottoms, it also frequents rocky reefs.[1]

Biology[edit]

The yellowspotted catshark feeds on small fish, crustaceans and squid.[2] It is an egg-laying species, laying a single egg at a time, and enclosing it in an egg case roughly 8 by 3 centimetres (3.1 in × 1.2 in).[3] The juvenile fish when they hatch may measure about 25 cm (10 in) and the adults can grow to 1.22 metres (4 ft 0 in) but most individuals are under a metre (3 ft) long. This shark is more common on rocky reefs that on sandy seabeds.[1]

Status[edit]

The IUCN, in its Red List of Threatened Species lists the yellowspotted catshark as being "Near Threatened". In the offshore waters where it lives there is a large hake fishery and the yellowspotted catshark is caught and discarded as bycatch during trawling. The rate of reproduction is probably failing to keep up with the depletion of the adult population by this means thus threatening the species' future.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Compagno, L.J.V.; Krose M.; Brash, J. (2004). "Scyliorhinus capensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  2. ^ a b c Carpenter, Kent E. "Scyliorhinus capensis (Müller & Henle, 1838)". FishBase. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Yellowspotted catshark (Scyliorhinus capensis)". Sharks of the World. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
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