Apristurus herklotsi 

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Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Pentanchidae

Scientific Name: Apristurus herklotsi (Fowler, 1934)
Common Name(s):
English Longfin Catshark
French Holbiche Á Longues Nageoires
Spanish Pejegato Aletón
Pentanchus herklotsi Fowler, 1934
Taxonomic Notes: Synonyms = Pentanchus herklotsi Fowler, 1934; Apristurus abbreviatus Deng, Xiong & Zahn, 1985; Apristurus brevicaudatus Chu, Meng & Li, 1986; Apristurus longianalis Chu, Meng & Li, 1986, Apristurus longicaudatus Li, Meng & Chu, 1986; Apristurus xenolepis Meng, Chu & Li, 1985

The genus Apristurusrelatively 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). Apristurus herklotsi belongs to the longicephalus-group. This group is characterized by a long, narrow snout (prenarial length >6.4% TL).

A. herklotsi is distinguished from A. longicephalus by a spiral valve count of 10 to 11 c.f. 13 to 17, a longer snout (pre-oral length exceeding 12.3% TL c.f. < 12.2% TL), smaller internarial space (always < 4% TL), shorter interdorsal space, longer fin bases and more tooth rows (49 to 57 and 49 to 58 rows upper and lower jaws c.f. 36 to 44 and 31 to 41 rows). A. herklotsi has a short duodenum as in all other Apristurus species except A. longicephalus (Nakaya 1991). Both species have a continuous supraorbital sensory canal, and similar numbers of monospondylous vertebrae (28 to 33 c.f. 30 to 33 in longicephalus) (Nakaya 1988, Nakaya and Sato 1999).

Compagno (1984) suggested A. herklotsi may be identical to Pentanchus profundicolus Smith & Radcliffe, 1912. However Nakaya (1988) observed that the tooth counts for P. profundicolus are well outside the range for A. herklotsi. Nakaya (1988) also observed that the snout is drawn too short in Compagno’s (1984) illustration of the holotype of A. herklotsi.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Duffy, C. & Huveneers, C.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Apristurus herklotsi is a poorly known deepwater catshark recorded from the Northwest and Western Central Pacific. Inhabits the upper continental slope and oceanic ridges at 520 to 900 m depth. Taken as bycatch of deepwater trawl fisheries but nothing known of its biology or catch rates. Insufficient information is available to assess the species beyond Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:A. herklotsi is found in the Jolo Sea (Philippine Islands) and South China Sea to Shikoku Island (Japan) and the Kyushu-Palau Ridge.
Countries occurrence:
China; Japan (Shikoku); Philippines
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population size and trends are not known.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A. herklotsi is a poorly known inhabitant of the upper continental slope and oceanic ridges at 520 to 900 m depth (Nakaya 1988, 1991). Females mature at about 44 cm TL. Egg cases are unknown. Male size at maturity is unknown (Nakaya 1988).

Apristurus species are relatively small, sluggish sharks that live on or near the bottom. Diet includes crustaceans (penaeid shrimps, euphausiids), squids and small fishes. Where known reproduction is oviparous with one egg per oviduct. Egg cases are usually thick-walled and 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.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): 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.

Classifications [top]

10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.1. Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World: an annotated and illustrated catalogue of the shark species known to date. Part 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Vol. 4(2). FAO, Rome.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2004).

IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at:

Nakaya, K. 1988b. Records of Apristurus herklotsi (Lamniformes, Scyliorhinidae) and discussion of its taxonomic relationships. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 35(2): 133-141.

Nakaya, K. 1991. A review of the long-snouted species of Apristurus (Chondrichthyes, Scyliorhinidae). Copeia 1991(4): 992-1002.

Nakaya, K. and Sato, K. 1999. Species grouping within the genus Apristurus (Elasmobranchii: Scyliorhinidae). In: B. Séret and J.-Y. Sire (eds). Proceedings of the 5th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference (Nouméa, 3-8 November 1997). Paris, Society Francaise d’Ichthyologie et Instutue de Recherches pour le Development: 307–320.

Citation: Duffy, C. & Huveneers, C. 2004. Apristurus herklotsi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T44212A10872317. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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