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Author: Springer, 1971

Field Marks:
A Halaelurus with rounded snout, elongated lobate anterior nasal flaps, moderately long abdomen, moderately long anal base, light coloration with white spots.

Diagnostic Features:
Snout tip not upturned and knoblike, thick and bluntly rounded; eyes 9 to 11 times in distance from snout to first dorsal origin. Anterior nasal flaps narrowly lobate and elongate; labial furrows moderately long, lowers extending at least 5 mm onto lower jaw; mouth moderately large, its width 8% of total length, its length about 3% of total length; papillae present in pharynx; gills directed laterad, not elevated above level of mouth. First dorsal origin over first fourth of pelvic bases; second dorsal considerably larger than first, its origin anterior to anal midbase; abdomen moderately short, distance between pectoral and pelvic bases 1.1 to 1.4 times the pectoral anterior margin; length of anal base about 1.3 to 1.5 times the second dorsal base, considerably longer than distance between dorsal bases. Colour light brown or grey above, whitish below, white spots on sides of small specimens.

Geographical Distribution:
Western South Pacific: New Zealand, Auckland Island.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known but common deepwater temperate catshark of the upper insular slopes, on or near the bottom from 371 to 420 m. Development mode uncertain. Feeds on bottom crustaceans, including shrimp, crabs, euphausiid shrimp, and amphipods.

Largest known specimen 34.9 cm (subadult male holotype), estimated size at maturity 35 to 45 cm total length.

Interest to Fisheries:

Type material:
Holotype: National Museum of New Zealand (formerly Dominion Museum), DM (or NMNZ) 5188.1, 349 mm subadult male. Type Locality: West of southern South Island, New Zealand, 44° 32.5'5,166° 41'E, 389 to 420 mdepth.

New Zealand catshark (Halaelurus dawsoni)