Heterodontus japonicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Heterodontiformes Heterodontidae

Scientific Name: Heterodontus japonicus Miklouho-Maclay & Macleay, 1884
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Bullhead Shark
French Requin Dormeur Nekozame
Spanish Dormilón Japonés
Cestracion philippi ssp. japonicus Dumeril, 1865

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-07-09
Assessor(s): Tanaka, S. & Nakaya, K.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Simpfendorfer, C. (Shark Red List Authority)
A common, benthic shark with a relatively widespread distribution in the Northwest Pacific. Although probably of little interest to commercial fisheries, this species is caught as bycatch of gillnet and possibly other fisheries in its range. Habitat destruction and pollution are also threats to its inshore habitat. However, this species is common within its range, is probably relatively fecund (an oviparous species) and is assessed as Least Concern because there is no evidence to suggest that it has declined at the present time. Population trends and changes in habitat quality should be monitored throughout the species' range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Northwest Pacific: Japan, northern China, northeastern coast of Taiwan (Province of China), Korea, northern (Compagno 2001, D. Ebert pers. comm.).
Countries occurrence:
China; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):37
Upper depth limit (metres):6
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Little is known about the population of this species, but it is very common in shallow waters of Japan (S. Tanaka pers. obs. 2007).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A common, temperate-water, benthic shark found on the continental shelf, at depths of 6-37 m (Compagno 2001, Smith 1942). Appears to prefer rocky areas. Including reefs, and kelp-covered substrates (Compagno 2001, Smith 1942). This species reaches a maximum size of 120 cm total length (TL), males mature at ~69 cm TL and size at birth is 18 cm TL (Compagno 2001). Females lay pairs of eggs among rocks or kelp at depths of 8-9 m, during 6-12 spawnings (from March to September) (Compagno 2001, Smith 1942). Preys on molluscs, small fishes and sea urchins (Compagno 2001, Smith 1942).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is a very popular aquarium species in Japan (S. Tanaka and K. Nakaya pers. obs. 2007).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is probably of little interest to fisheries, but is caught as bycatch by gillnet fisheries (Tanaka 2006) and possibly other fisheries in its range (Compagno 2001, S. Tanaka and K. Nakaya pers. obs. 2007). In northern Japan, and possibly elsewhere, its inshore habitat is threatened by marine pollution and coralline flats. Algae are declining in abundance, which will affect this species' prey items; Batillus, top shells sea urchins, and in turn may impact populations of H. japonicus (S. Tanaka pers. obs. 2007).

It is also a very popular aquarium species in Japan (S. Tanaka and K. Nakaya pers. obs. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place. Population trends and changes in habitat quality should be monitored throughout the species' range. Research is also required on the species' biology.

Citation: Tanaka, S. & Nakaya, K. 2009. Heterodontus japonicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161714A5486896. . Downloaded on 23 October 2017.
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