Squatina pseudocellata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Squatiniformes Squatinidae

Scientific Name: Squatina pseudocellata
Species Authority: Last & White, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Western Angel Shark
Squatina sp. [Last & Stevens, 1994] subspecies B
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Cavanagh, R.D. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S. & Musick, J.A. (Shark Red List Authority)
A poorly known, undescribed, angel shark endemic to the Western Australia continental shelf and upper slope (150 to 310 m). Nothing is known of its biology, but all those members of this genus for which biological data are available are known to be extremely vulnerable to fishing pressure because of their life history characteristics, morphology, limited dispersion and recolonisation potential, and habitat preferences. Serious declines have been documented for many better-known Squatina species with a wider distribution, but no population data or trend data are available for this endemic. The species is presently of no commercial value and is not recorded in Western Australia state fisheries. It is likely to be encountered in the commonwealth North West Slope Trawl Fishery, but effort in that fishery is very low. Bycatch data should be collected and the life history characteristics of this species elucidated. Any future expansion of fisheries within its area of occurrence would need to closely monitor catches of this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: One of two undescribed endemic Australian Squatina species. The western angel shark, referred to as Squatina sp. B in Last and Stevens (1994), is restricted to the west coast of Australia, while the eastern angel shark, Squatina sp. A in Last and Stevens (1994), is restricted to the east coast of Australia.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No available information on populations.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Demersal on the continental shelf and upper slope at depths of 150 to 310 m. Maximum size at least 64 cm total length (TL). Nothing known of its biology. This species presumably displays aplacental yolksac viviparity, as does other Squatina species. Litter size, gestation period, reproductive periodicity and age and growth parameters are unknown. However, other squatinid species have a long gestation period, for example 6 to 12 months in S. tergocellata (Bridge et al. 1998) and 10 months in S. californica (Natanson and Cailliet 1986). Parturition may be biennial as in S. tergocellata (Bridge et al. 1998).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Squatina sp. B is presently of no commercial value. Angel sharks are generally not susceptible to line or mesh fishing, but are highly susceptible to trawling (Terry Walker, personal communication). Western Australian state fisheries occurring off northwestern Western Australia (north coast shark fishery, Pilbara Fish Trawl Fishery) do not encounter this species as they generally fish at depths of 200 m and is likely to encounter Squatina sp. nov. B. However, this fishery is small (presently about four boats) and so is unlikely to impact upon the species. Given the apparent ‘slow’ life history of angel sharks together with documented declines of other species (Holts 1988, Graham et al. 2001) any catches (including discards) of Squatina sp. nov. B should be monitored in the future to ensure any increased fishing effort does not adversely affect the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None. Species needs to be formally described and research conducted into life history.

Citation: Kyne, P.M. & Cavanagh, R.D. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003). 2003. Squatina pseudocellata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T42728A10749451. . Downloaded on 26 May 2016.
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