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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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Author: Regan, 1906

Field Marks:
Six pairs of gill slits, sawlike snout with barbels.

Diagnostic Features:
Six pairs of gill slits. Large rostral sawteeth with posterior serrations. Teeth with prominent transverse ridges on basal ledges.

Geographical Distribution:
Temperate and subtropical waters of the western Indian Ocean: Distribution centred on the southeastern Cape coast of South Africa, but ranging from False Bay to central Natal andsouthern Mozambique.

Habitat and Biology:
A common benthic and epibenthic shark of the continental shelf and upper slope at depths of 60 to at least 430 m. It is most abundant in southeastern Cape waters at 60 to 120 m, but occurs in deeper water off Natal (110 m and below), where adults are partially segregated from young by occurring in greater depths. Ovoviviparous, with 5 to 7 young in a litter in two females but with others having 7 to 17 developing eggs. Eats small fish (including Champsodon), crustaceans and squids.

Maximum total length at least 136 cm; males maturing at about 83 cm and reaching at least 112 cm; females maturing at about 110 cm and reaching at least 136 cm; size at birth about 35 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Commonly taken by bottom trawlers off South Africa and southern Mozambique, but usage not known.

Type material:
Syntypes: British Museum (Natural History), BMNH 1905.6.8.9 is one of two specimens, each 750 mm total length. Type Locality: Two localities in South Africa given, Natal, 73 m depth, and False Bay, Cape of Good Hope.

Sixgill sawshark (Pliotrema warreni)