Galeus antillensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Pentanchidae

Scientific Name: Galeus antillensis Springer, 1979
Common Name(s):
English Antilles Catshark
Taxonomic Notes: This is a member of the Galeus arae complex of the Western Atlantic. The taxonomy of this complex was recently revised with former subspecies now listed as full species (Konstantinou and Cozzi 1998, Konstantinou et al. 2000), which is generally accepted. This species was previously known as Galeus arae antillensis (in part) and was noted as the island form of Galeus arae (Springer 1979).

This species is difficult to distinguish from other members of the G. arae complex. It is however, separated from its congeners by the size of its anal fin, vertebral count and size at maturity (Konstantinou et al. 2000). It occurs sympatrically with G. springeri.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2004-06-16
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Heupel, M.R.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Stevens, J.D., Pollard, D., Dudley, S. & Valenti, S.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
The Antilles Catshark (Galeus antillensis) is a member of the western Atlantic Galeus arae species complex. Information for this species is currently limited but it appears to have a relatively restricted distribution in the western central Atlantic (Florida Straits, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles). Its distribution may not be completely documented due in part to confusion with its congeners. This species is found in depths of 293–695 m and reaches a maximum size of ~46 cm total length, but virtually nothing is known of its biology. Very little information is available on fisheries that may take this species as bycatch and no catch data are available. At present there is not enough information on catches, biology, or population to assess the species beyond Data Deficient. The limited distribution of this species may make it vulnerable to depletion and therefore any catches require monitoring.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Relatively restricted range in the Western central Atlantic: Straits of Florida and Caribbean from Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic), Puerto Rico and Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles (Compagno 2002, Compagno et al. 2005). Its distribution may not be completely documented.
Countries occurrence:
Antigua and Barbuda; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Montserrat; Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Martin (French part); United States (Florida); Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):695
Upper depth limit (metres):293
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A deepwater species of the upper continental and insular slopes at depths of 293–695 m (Konstantinou et al. 2000). Little known about its biology. Although the reproductive mode of this species had been in question, it is reported to be oviparous (Springer 1979, Konstantinou et al. 2000). Parsons (1986) also reported on oviparity in Galeus arae antillensis off Puerto Rico. However, G. antillensis occurs sympatrically with G. springeri in this area so it is not known which species his specimens belonged to. Reaches a maximum size ~46 cm TL.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to this species are uncertain. Little information is available on deepwater fisheries operating in this area that may take this species. Any future expansion of deepwater demersal fisheries in the species’ restricted range may be cause for concern and would require monitoring. Its small size may preclude it from capture in some fishing gears.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place. Fisheries operating within this species’ relatively restricted range need to be monitored.

Classifications [top]

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Compagno, L.J.V. 2002. Sharks. In: K.E. Carpenter (ed.), The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Volume 1: Introduction, molluscs, crustaceans, hagfishes, sharks, batoid fishes, and chimaeras. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes and American Society of Ichthyologists and H, pp. 357- 457. FAO, Rome.

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. and Fowler, S.L. 2005. Sharks of the World. Harper Collins.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2007. Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile: Saint Kitts and Saint Nevis. Rome, Italy Available at:

IUCN. 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2009.2). Available at: (Accessed: 3 November 2009).

Konstantinou, H. and Cozzi, J.R. 1998. Galeus springeri, a new species of sawtail catshark from the Caribbean Sea (Chondrichthyes, Scyliorhinidae). Copeia 1998: 151-158.

Konstantinou, H., McEachran, J.D. and Woolley, J.B. 2000. The systematics and reproductive biology of the Galeus arae subspecific complex (Chondrichthyes, Scyliorhinidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 57: 117-129.

Parsons, G.R. 1986. Observations of the reproductive biology of the marbled catshark, Galeus arae antillensis. Northeast Gulf Science 8(2): 149-150.

Springer, S. 1979. A revision of the catsharks, family Scyliorhinidae. NOAA Technical Report NMFS Circular 422. NOAA.

Citation: Heupel, M.R. 2009. Galeus antillensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161732A5490967. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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