Galeus priapus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Pentanchidae

Scientific Name: Galeus priapus Séret & Last, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Phallic Catshark
French Chien Priape
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. and Van der Laan, R. (eds.). 2018. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 29 March 2018. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-11-27
Assessor(s): Séret, B.
Reviewer(s): Ebert, D.A. & Kyne, P.M.

The Phallic Catshark (Galeus priapus) is a small (reaching 45.5 cm total length) deepwater catshark occurring on the slopes off southern New Caledonia (north of Norfolk Ridge) and Espiritu Santo Island (Vanuatu). It is only known from a few specimens collected by research vessels. Catsharks are usually taken by bottom trawl fisheries; there are no such fisheries in the areas where this species occurs, because of the geomorphology of the slopes that makes trawling very difficult. Furthermore, commercial fishing is prohibited on the seamounts of southern New Caledonia. This catshark is also too small to be marketed. More research is needed on its biology and population size, both of which are unknown. Despite the limited information available on the species, it is assessed as Least Concern given the absence of any threats within its range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Phallic Catshark (Galeus priapus) 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 (Vanuatu) (Séret and Last 2008).
Countries occurrence:
New Caledonia; Vanuatu
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):830
Upper depth limit (metres):262
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The Phallic Catshark is so far known only by the 11 specimens listed in the original description (Séret and Last 2008) and a few additional specimens collected during exploratory cruises in the EEZ of New Caledonia. It is considered to be uncommon.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Phallic Catshark is a benthic shark, living on or close to the sea floor, on the slopes of oceanic islands and seamounts between 262 and 830 m depth. Its maximum size is 45.5 cm TL (biggest known female), with males maturing at about 38 cm TL. This species is oviparous, but nothing is known of its reproductive biology.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

The Phallic Catshark, an uncommon deepwater shark, is not traded; it is too small to be marketed.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no threats to the Phallic Catshark as there is no commercial bottom trawling fisheries in the areas where it occurs. Commercial fishing is prohibited on the seamounts of southern New Caledonia (Monts sous-marins du Grand Sud). It has only been caught by scientific research vessels.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation actions are currently in place for the Phallic Catshark. However, commercial fishing is prohibited on the seamounts of southern New Caledonia.

Citation: Séret, B. 2011. Galeus priapus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T195425A8964463. . Downloaded on 23 July 2018.
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