African angelshark

African angelshark
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Squatiniformes
Family: Squatinidae
Genus: Squatina
Species: S. africana
Binomial name
Squatina africana
Regan, 1908
Range of African angelshark (in blue)

The African angelshark, Squatina africana, is an angel shark of the family Squatinidae.

Measurements

Born: 28–30 cm TL; Mature: ~ 80 cm (M), 90 cm (F) TL; Max: ~ 122 cm TL.

Identification

Color: Are a greyish or a reddish-brown, there are many light and dark spots, which are often large granular-centered ocelli in young fishes. Obtains a larger symmetrical dark bands or saddles, blotces on a broad, angular, high pectoral fins. Has a dark tail base, with white margins. Body: Has simple flat nasal barbels, with its tips tapering or spatulate. The anterior nasal flaps smooth or are slightly fringed. There are no angular lobes on lateral dermal flaps. Enlarged thorns on its head, and not back. Obtains concave between its eyes.

Distribution & Range

Western Indian Ocean: found in East and southern Africa; South Africa to Mozambique, Tanzania and Madagascar, and possibly Somalia. Nominal west African records possibly based on another species. 4°S - 32°S.

Climate & Habitat

Subtropical; continental shelf and upper slope, demersal, marine. Usually found in sand and mud. From surfline to ? - 494 m, but usually occurs at 60 – 300 m down.

Behaviour

Lies in wait buried underneath sand or mud to ambush its prey with lighting fast reflexes and great precision.

Biology

Diet: Feeds on small bony fishes, squid and octopuses, and including shrimp. Reproduction: Is ovoviviparous and gives birth to at least 7 or 11 pups per litter.

Status

IUCN Red List: Data deficient. Is common only on the east coast of South Africa. Trawl fishery bycatch.

Threat to Humans

Traumatogenic.

Resilience & Vulnerability

Very low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years; high vulnerability.

References

  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Squatina africana in FishBase. July 2006 version.
  • Compagno, Dando, & Fowler, Sharks of the World, Princeton University Press, New Jersey 2005 ISBN 978-0-691-12072-0
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.