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Author: [t]Springer and D'Aubrey, 1972[/t]

Field Marks:
A Halaelurus with pointed snout, elevated gill slits, colour pattern of few broad dark saddles, a dark marking on dorsal and caudal fins, and numerous small dark spots scattered on the body and fins.

Diagnostic Features:
Snout tip pointed but not upturned and knoblike; eyes in adults less than 14 times in distance from snout to first dorsal origin; anterior nasal flaps subtrianuular; labial furrows rather short. essentially confined to mouth corners, but lowers extending at least 5 mm onto lower jaw; mouth fairly narrow, its width 6 to 8% of total length, its length 3 to 4% of total length; status of papillae in pharynx unknown; gills directed dorsolaterally, elevated above level of mouth. First dorsal origin over last third of pelvic bases; second dorsal about as large as first, with origin over last third of anal base; abdomen short in adults, distance between pectoral and pelvic bases less than 1.5 times pectoral anterior margin; length of anal base about 1 to 1.3 times the second dorsal base, only 3/5 of distance between dorsal bases. Colour pattern prominent and variegated, with irregular dusky saddles on the back and caudal base, blotches on the dorsal and caudal fins, and numerous small black dots spread over the dorsal surface. Adults moderate-sized, to 46 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Indo-West Pacific: Somalia, Gulf of Aden, Western Australia, Amboina, the Philippines, Viet Nam.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known 3 but wide-ranging bottom-dwelling shark of the continental and insular shelves, at depths of 37 to 91 m. Up to four egg capsules may occur in an oviduct, but it is uncertain if these hatch ' inside the oviduct or if the eggs are laid. Young may occur at advanced stages while eggs are still in the oviduct.

Size:
Maximum 48 cm, adult males 42 to 48 cm, adults females 43 to 47 cm; size at hatching (or birth?) over 7 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Remarks:
This species was confused with H. buergeri until Springer and D'Aubrey (1972) found it to be a separate species.

Type material:
Holotype: U.S. National Museum of Natural History, USNM-205136, 430 mm adult male. Type Locality: 11°37'N, 51°27'E, off Somalia, from 67 to 72 m depth.

Speckled catshark (Halaelurus boesemani)