Home|Search|Identify|Taxonomic tree|Quiz|About this site|Feedback
Developed by ETI BioInformatics
Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
Synonyms and common names
Literature references
Images, audio and video
Links to other Web sites

Author: (Günther, 1870)

Field Marks:
Dorsal fins with spines, anal fin present, supraorbital ridges greatly enlarged, colour pattern of obscure dark broad bands on head, back and tail.

Diagnostic Features:
Supraorbital ridges very high, more prominent than any other Heterodontus, abruptly ending behind eyes; molariform teeth in rear of mouth not greatly expanded and rounded, with strong medial ridges. First dorsal origin over pectoral bases; apex of anal fin reaches lower caudal origin; anal base between 1 and 2 times in space between anal base and lower caudal origin. Colour light brown with broad blackish bands or saddle-markings on head, on back at base of first dorsal, and on tail just behind second dorsal, these rather obscure and poorly defined. Egg cases with simple, flat, narrow paired spiral flanges, diagonal to case axis and with 6 or 7 turns visible on sides, case apex with long, slender tendrils.

Geographical Distribution:
Western South Pacific: Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, ?Tasmania).

Habitat and Biology:
A moderately common benthic and epibenthic shark of the southern Australian continental shelf at moderate depths, ranging from close inshore to 93 m. This shark often wedges its way between rocks in search of prey. The egg cases, with long tendrils, are dropped by females in seaweeds at about 24 m depth on the bottom, during July and August, and hatch after at least 5 months. Eggs are commonest in August and September but are found throughout the year. In captivity a newly hatched female matured and began to lay eggs after 11.8 years. The crested bullhead shark feeds primarily on sea urchins (echinoids), but also crustaceans, molluscs and small fishes.

Size:
Maximum total length said to 152 cm, but most below 122 cm. Young hatch at about 17 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Minimal, taken by bottom trawlers.

Type material:
Holotype: British Museum (Natural History), about 640 mm long. Type Locality: Australia.

Crested bullhead shark (Heterodontus galeatus)