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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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Author: (Müller and Henle, 1838)

Field Marks:
A Halaelurus with pointed snout, short abdomen, short anal base, and colour pattern of dusky bands flanked by large black spots.

Diagnostic Features:
Snout tip not upturned and knoblike, pointed; eyes in adults less than 14 times in distance from snout to first dorsal origin; anterior nasal flaps subtriangular; labial furrows extremely short or I absent, when present essentially confined to mouthcorners and with lowers extending 2 mm or less ontolower jaw; mouth moderate-sized, its width 7% of totallength, its length 3 to 4% of total length; status ofpapillae in pharynx unknown; gill slits directed dorso-laterally, elevated above level of mouth. First dorsal origin over last fourth of pelvic bases; second dorsal about as larne as or sliahtiv smaller than first. its 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 1.3 times the second dorsal base, almost 2 times in distance between dorsal bases. Colour pattern variegated, with obscure dusky saddles and large black spots outlining their margins on a light background. Adults moderate-sized, to about 49 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Western North Pacific: Japan, the Koreas, China, including Taiwan Island.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known, but common tropical and temperate bottom-dwelling catshark of the western Pacific continental 3 shelf, at.depths down from 80 to 100 m. Oviparous, but with several egg-capsules retained in the oviduct until embryos reach an advanced: stage before they are laid, which is a condition regarded by Nakaya (1975) as being intermediate between oviparity with one egg being laid 1 per uterus at a time, with the embryo at an early stage, and ovoviviparity.

Size:
Maximum about 49 cm, adolescent male 36 cm, adult males from 36 to 43 cm, female immature at 36 cm and gravid at 45 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present, taken with bottom trawls in the Taiwan Straits.

Type material:
Lectotype: Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie, Leiden, RMNH D2593. Type Locality: Japan.

Blackspotted catshark (Halaelurus buergeri)