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Apristurus micropterygeus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CARCHARHINIFORMES SCYLIORHINIDAE

Scientific Name: Apristurus micropterygeus
Species Authority: Meng, Chu & Li, 1986
Common Name(s):
English Smalldorsal Catshark
Taxonomic Notes: The genus Apristurus contains at least 32 described species and a relatively large number of potentially undescribed ones. Morphological conservatism and, until recently, a lack of objectively defined characters makes this one of the most taxonomically confused shark genera (Compagno 1984, Nakaya and Sato 1999).

Nakaya and Sato (1999) defined three species groups within Apristurus: the longicephalus-group (two species), brunneus-group (20 species) and spongiceps-group (10 species). A. micropterygeus belongs to the brunneus-group, characterized by: a short, wide snout (prenarial length < 6% TL); 13 to 22 valves in the spiral intestine; upper labial furrows obviously longer than the lower furrows; a discontinuous supraorbital sensory canal.

A. micropterygeus is unique among the species of Apristurus in having a narrow and sharply pointed first dorsal fin. However, Nakaya and Sato (2000) recommended that the status of the species be reviewed once additional specimens are available, citing the possibility that the dorsal fin of the holotype may have been malformed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Duffy, C. & Huveneers, C.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
A deepwater catshark known only from one 37.2 cm total length (TL) juvenile or adolescent male caught in the South China Sea at a depth of 913 m. Probably taken as bycatch in deepwater trawl fisheries. Insufficient information is available to assess the species beyond Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is known only from the holotype collected from the South China Sea.
Countries:
Native:
China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – northwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Only known from the holotype.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The holotype is an adolescent male, 37.2 cm TL, caught at 913 m depth. Nakaya and Sato (2000) estimated male size at maturity to be about 40 cm TL, and maximum size to be about 57 cm TL.

Apristurus species are relatively small, sluggish sharks that live on or near the bottom over upper to mid continental and insular slopes. Diet includes crustaceans (penaeid shrimps, euphausids), squids and small fishes. Where known reproduction is oviparous with one egg per oviduct. Egg cases are usually thick-walled, about 5 to 6.8 cm long and 2.5 to 2.9 cm wide. The anterior end of the case has a long weak fibrous thread on each corner. The posterior end usually has two small processes, each with a long coiled tendril. As in shallow water scyliorhinids the coiled tendrils are probably used to attach the egg cases to hard substrates and/or biogenic structures as they are laid.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Probably taken as bycatch in deepwater trawl fisheries. Other species of deepwater Chondrichthyans are known to be captured as bycatch in deepwater fisheries. As these fisheries expand globally, consideration needs to be given to the fact that this species too may be captured incidentally in deepwater fisheries.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are currently in place for this species.

Citation: Duffy, C. & Huveneers, C. 2004. Apristurus micropterygeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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