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Apristurus microps

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES CARCHARHINIFORMES SCYLIORHINIDAE

Scientific Name: Apristurus microps
Species Authority: (Gilchrist, 1922)
Common Name(s):
English Smalleye Catshark
French Holbiche Porc
Spanish Pejegato Puerco
Synonym(s):
Scylliorhinus microps Gilchrist, 1922
Taxonomic Notes: In the North Atlantic, this species is possibly caught as a bycatch in deepwater trawl fisheries but could be other Apristurus species. A careful examination of North Atlantic A. cf. microps should be compared to southern African forms. See Compagno (in prep. b) for further taxonomic notes.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Ebert, D.A.
Reviewer(s): Cavanagh, R.D., Kyne, P.M. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
This catshark is known from occasional captures in deepsea exploratory trawls (in 700 to 1,200 m), becoming most abundant > 800 m. It is known to occur to 2,000 m or more. In southern Africa there are currently no deepsea trawl fisheries. In the North Atlantic, this species is possibly caught as a bycatch in deepwater trawl fisheries, but these could be other Apristurus species. A careful examination of North Atlantic A. cf. microps should be compared to southern African forms. Future expansion of deepwater fisheries could pose a threat to this poorly known species, however, at present much of its range is below the depth of fishing activities and it is considered to be Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Northeast Atlantic: Between Scotland and Iceland. Southeast Atlantic: South Africa (Northern and Western Cape Provinces from the Orange River mouth south to Cape Agulhas and Eastern Cape Province). Possibly also the Northwest Atlantic (off Newfoundland, Canada) (Compagno in prep. b).
Countries:
Native:
Iceland; South Africa; United Kingdom
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Present - origin uncertain:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Nothing is known about its population size.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A benthic catshark of the continental slope, found on or near the bottom at depths of 700 to 2,000 m. South African specimens have been collected on soft bottom between 700 to 1,200 m. This species is also known to migrate off the bottom to feed on midwater prey items. Newborns, as known with other Apristurus species, may inhabit the midwater column until they start to mature whereupon they assume a more demersal lifestyle.

Size at maturity: approx. 50 cm total length (TL) (both male and female). Maximum size: 61 cm TL (males); 54 cm TL (females).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Possibly caught and discarded as bycatch by deepwater trawl fisheries, particularly in the North Atlantic. Expansion of deepwater fisheries may pose a threat to this species in the future, but at present most of its depth range is outside the reach of fisheries in its area of occupancy.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in effect or proposed at this time.

Citation: Ebert, D.A. 2004. Apristurus microps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 October 2014.
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