Natal Shyshark

About the Natal Shyshark

The Haploblepharus kistnasamyi is a species of catshark, belonging to the Scyliorhinidae family. It was once regarded as the “Natal” form of the puffadder shyshark.


This species reaches a maximum length of 50 cm TL. The Natal Shyshark is rarer than the puffadder Shyshark and little is known of its habits. Males are sexually mature at 50 cm TL, and females at 48 cm TL. The Shysharks are so named because they curl into a ring and cover their eyes with their tails when threatened.

Habitat and location:

This shark is endemic to a small area of South Africa from the Western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal. It is found close to the coast from the surf zone to a depth of 30 m and has benthic habits.


With its restricted inshore range and apparently small population size; the main threat to this species is habitat degradation. Intensive habitat modification and destruction is known to be occurring within its range, particularly around Durban, which has a rapidly expanding heavy industry sector and is also expanding its tourist industry.

No conservation measures are in place for the Haploblepharus Kistnasamy. Habitat monitoring should be considered a priority.

Do you have images or videos of Natal Shysharks?
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Scientific NameHaploblepharus Kistnasamyi
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNCritically Endangered
Litter Size2
SpeciesHaploblepharus Kistnasamyi
Common Length50 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range30 m
DistributionSoutheast Atlantic