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Author: (Freminville, 1840)

Field Marks:
Dorsal fins with spines, anal fin present, first dorsal origin over pectoral inner margins, colour pattern of large dark spots.

Diagnostic Features:
Supraorbital ridges low, not abruptly ending behind eyes; molariform teeth in rear of mouth not greatly expanded and rounded, with strQng medial ridges. First dorsal origin behind pectoral bases, over pectoral inner margins; apex of anal fin reaches or falls well short of lower caudal origin; anal base less than 2 times in space between anal base and lower caudal origin. Colour light brown or grey with large black spots greater than 1/2 eye diameter in width, no light transverse band between supraorbital ridges on interorbital space. Identification of egg cases uncertain, but possibly like those of H. francisci, with paired, simple flat, spiral, diagonal flanges, without tendrils and with 5 turns visible on sides.

Geographical Distribution:
Eastern Pacific from the coasts and offshore islands of Peru and the Galapagos Islands.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known but apparently common tropical and warm-temperate bullhead shark of inshore continental and insular waters, at moderate depths on the bottom. Feeds on crabs.

Maximum total length 59 cm; an adult male was 48 cm, and an apparently newly hatched male 17 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Not a commercial species (Norma Chirichigno, pers. comm.).

Norma Chirichigno (1980, pers.comm.) suggested that there may be more than one species included under H. quoyi. Quoyi-like Heterodontus from Peru, with the first dorsal origin slightly behind the pectoral bases, includes two forms, one with concave posterior dorsal fin margins, a long space about twice the anal base length between the anal base and lower caudal origin, and an anal fin that falls well ahead of the lower caudal origin when laid back; and a second form with convex posterior dorsal fin margins, a short space much less than twice the anal base length between the anal base and lower caudal origin, and an anal fin that reaches the lower caudal origin when laid back. If distinct species, the first type is apparently the true H. quoyi, while the second could be distinguished as H. peruanus. I hesitate to separate these two forms with the small amount of material I have examined, however.

Type material:
Holotype: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, MNHN 3445, adult male about 475 mm. Type Locality: Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos bullhead shark (Heterodontus quoyi)