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Taxonomische classification
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Author: (Springer, 1968)

Field Marks:
The reddish-brown blotched, spotted and barred colour pattern of this shark is unique; also, an anal fin and two equal-sized, spineless dorsal fins, the first over abdomen slightly closer to pelvic fins than pectorals, nictitating eyelids, a triangular mouth, very short labial furrows, comblike posterior teeth, short anterior nasal flaps that do not reach mouth, and a stout body and tail.

Diagnostic Features:
Body rather stocky. Head and snout not bell-shaped in dorsoventral view; preoral snout length about 2/3 of mouth width; anterior nasal flaps small, with rear edges well in front of mouth; internarial space 1.2 times in nostril width; inside of mouth and edges of gill bars with papillae. First dorsal origin slightly anterior to free rear tips of pectorals, base closer to pelvic bases than pectoral bases; anal origin slightly posterior to second dorsal origin; caudal fin broad,not tapelike, and short, dorsal margin about 23% of total length. A unique colour pattern of large, reddish-brown, irregular dorsal saddle blotches on body, interspersed with smaller round spots and vertical bars, as well as spots on fins.

Geographical Distribution:
As presently known, confined to the northwestern Indian Ocean, off Somalia.

Habitat and Biology:
A poorly known tropical bottom-dwelling shark from the outer continental shelf off Somalia, known only from the holotype. Mode of development uncertain, though the presence of a very thin-walled (rather than thick-walled) large egg-case in each uterus of the holotype suggests that the species may be ovoviviparous rather than oviparous like Proscyllium habereri; if ovoviviparous, presumably the holotype would have had two young in a litter. An unidentified crustacean was found in the stomach of the holotype, and the describer of this shark (S. Springer) speculated that its large mouth, small teeth, and large pharynx with gillraker papillae might allow it to feed on very small invertebrates.

Maximum 46 cm (adult female).

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Type material:
Holotype: U.S. National Museum of ONatural History, USNM-202969, 460 mm adult female. Type Locality: Southwest of Cape Guardafui, Somalia, 11°24'N, 51°35'E, from 70 to 170 m depth.

Harlequin catshark (Ctenacis fehlmanni)