The Phallic Catshark is a species of catshark member of the family Scyliorhinidae, found in the deep waters off New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Biology and Description:
The Phallic Catshark has a very slim, firm body. The head has a long, narrow parabolic shape. The small, horizontal eyes are equipped with rudimentary nictitating membranes. The anterior rims of the nostril bear triangular flaps of skin. The mouth is fairly large and wide. The tooth rows number around 60 in either jaw. The dorsal fins vary in shape, with the first being larger than the second one. The pectoral fins are fairly large and wide, with rounded tips. The pelvic fins are short and low. The anal fin is relatively small. And the caudal fin is long, with a small lower lobe and a deep ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. The dermal denticles are small and overlapping. This species is a variable shade of gray above, with a dark saddle intersecting the front half of each dorsal fin and two more saddles around the tail. This catshark reaches a maximum size of 46 cm TL, with males attaining sexual maturity at around 39 cm TL. Reproduction is oviparous, but nothing else is known about this species’ biology.
The Phallic Catshark is a benthic shark, living on or close to the seafloor, on the slope of oceanic islands and seamounts at depths between 262 – 830 m. It is known from the marginal slopes off southern New Caledonia, south of the Loyalty Islands Ridge and north of the Norfolk Ridge and off Espiritu Santo Island.
There are currently no conservation measures in place for this species. However, commercial fishing is prohibited on the seamounts of southern New Caledonia.
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