Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




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CAAB: 37015000



Compiler and date details

26 July 2011 - Douglass F. Hoese, Dianne J. Bray & Jennifer E. Gates


Members of the Scyliorhinidae, the catsharks, were revised most recently by Springer (1979) who treated 17 genera and 86 species, but studied very little Indo-Pacific material. Compagno (1984a) provided a key to the western Indian Ocean species and Nakaya (1975) treated Japanese species. Subsequently, several undescribed species were discovered from New Zealand, Australia, Japan and China, many of which are now described. Compagno (1984b) treated all described species known at that time, but more recently Compagno et al. (2005) treated 15 genera and 133 species and indicated that the family comprises over 160 species, many undescribed. No comparison has been made of species from various geographical areas. Two subgenera, Bythaelurus and Figaro subsequently have been elevated to recognised genera, bringing the total number of genera to 17.

Currently, nine genera and 34 described species are known from Australia. Many of the tropical species from Australia are treated in Compagno & Niem (1998). Compagno et al. (2005) and Last & Stevens (1994, 2009) treated all described species known from Australia. Stevens and Compagno kindly provided information on Australian species.

Catsharks are found in tropical and temperate regions of the world. Some species occur in shallow coastal areas, but most are confined to the continental shelf and slope to depths of 2000 m. They are oviparous and produce a horny egg case. They feed on fishes and invertebrates and rarely exceed 1.5 m in length.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Apr-2012 16-Apr-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)