Homarinus capensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Homarinus capensis
Species Authority: (Herbst, 1792)
Cancer capensis Herbst, 1792
Homarus capensis (Herbst, 1792)
Taxonomic Notes: Homarus capensis as described by Herbst (1792) has been changed to Homarinus capensis (Kornfield et al. 1995).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor/s: Cockcroft, A., Butler, M., Chan, T.Y., MacDiarmid, A. & Wahle, R.
Reviewer/s: Collen, B., Livingstone, S. & Richman, N.
Contributor/s: Batchelor, A., De Silva, R., Dyer, E., Kasthala, G., Lutz, M.L., McGuinness, S., Milligan, H.T., Soulsby, A.-M. & Whitton, F.
Homarinus capensis has been assessed as Data Deficient as it has only been assessed from a few specimens.  Targeted surveys for this species, as well as regular sampling for other taxa have recovered no additional specimens since 1992, therefore this species could possibly be a candidate for Extinct. Further research into threats, habitat and biology before a more accurate assessment of conservation status can be made.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species was originally thought to range from Table Bay (33º55'S-33º06'S 18º22'E-27º49'E) to East London (Kensley 1981, Holthuis 1991), however, new collections in the early 1990s extended it's range to Transkei (Kado et al. 1994 in Kornfield et al. 1995).
South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, Western Cape)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a very rare species known from approximately 34 specimens (Holthuis 1991, Kado et al. 1994). In 1992, a specimen was found at Dassen Island, and this reporting led to the find of 20 additional individuals which were regurgutated from the stomaches of fish (Kado et al. 1994). This is a very well studied area of coastline. Targeted surveys for this species, as well as regular sampling for other taxa have recovered no additional specimens since then (A. Cockcroft pers. comm. 2009).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Due to the rarity of this species, little is known on its biological or ecological requirements (Holthuis 1991). Collection of a couple of specimens has found in a "salt-water rock pool" (Stebbing 1900, Holthuis 1986) and on Sea Point Beach (Barnard 1950, Holthuis 1986).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is of no commercial value (Holthuis 1991). However, there is a major threat to this species due to the extremely low population size which makes it susceptible to a number of events, especially the risk of reproductive failure. It is unknown why the population is at this very low level.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species.

Further collections of this species are needed to better understand possible threats, habitat and biology.
Citation: Cockcroft, A., Butler, M., Chan, T.Y., MacDiarmid, A. & Wahle, R. 2011. Homarinus capensis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
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