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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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Author: (Alcock, 1891)

Field Marks:
A Halaelurus with rounded snout, long abdomen, short anal base, plain light coloration, large size (see diagnostic features and remarks, below).

Diagnostic Features:
Snout tip not upturned and knoblike, broadly parabolic; eyes in adults less than 14 times in distance from snout to first dorsal origin; anterior nasal flaps subtriangular; labial furrows rather short, essentially confined to mouth corners, but lowers extending at least 5 mm onto lower jaw; mouth moderately large, its width 8 to 10% of total length, its length 4 to 5% of total length; papillae present in pharynx; gills directed laterad, not elevated above level of mouth. First dorsal origin over last third of pelvic bases; second dorsal slightly smaller than first, its origin over or slightly in front of anal midbase; abdomen moderately long in adults, distance between pectoral and pelvic bases 1.3 to 1.4 times the pectoral anterior margin; length of anal base about 1.5 to 1.7 times the second dorsal base, slightly shorter than distance between dorsal bases. Colour pale brown or whitish, sometimes with obscure grey crossbands, white spots, or dusky spots. Adults very small. 29 cm or less.

Geographical Distribution:
Indian Ocean: Southeastern India, Andaman Islands.

Habitat and Biology:
A common deepwater bottomdwelling catshark of the upper continental slopes at depths of 293 to 766 m. Mode of development uncertain. Eats small fishes, squid and crustacea.

Size:
Maximum 29 cm, adult males 24 to 26 cm, adult females about 22 to 29 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Remarks:
The holotype of this species is in the Zoological Survey of India in Calcutta, and is not the 237 mm specimen in the British Museum (Natural History) stated to be the holotype by Springer (1979), according to P.K. Talwar (pers.comm.). The writer examined the holotype of this species in the Zoological Survey of India collection upon which the illustration is based.

Type material:
Holotype: Zoological Survey of India, ZSI13120, 220 mm adolescent or immature male. Type Locality: Andaman Sea, 344 to 402 m depth.

Bristly catshark (Halaelurus hispidus)