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Author: Fowler, 1934

Field Marks:
Long nasal barbels, nictitating eyelids, mouth extending behind front of eyes, posterior dorsal fins with the first much larger than the second, and bold, spotted colour pattern with large dark spots.

Diagnostic Features:
Barbels of anterior nasal flaps longer, nearly or quite equal to nostril width, and usually reaching mouth. Colour pattern of very large dark spots in irregular longitudinal rows, not forming rosettes.

Geographical Distribution:
Known only from the Natal and Transkei coasts of South Africa, southwestern Indian Ocean.

Habitat and Biology:
A rare, poorly known, small temperate and subtropical shark, found down to at least 37 m depth in South African waters. About 5 specimens known.

Maximum recorded 65 cm, males adult at 58 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

A specimen of this species was taken off Port St. Johns, Transkei, South Africa, while the writer was in South Africa in 1982. The possibility exists that this rare shark, which apparently differs from P. pantherinum only in its colour pattern, is a colour morph of the latter species. Bass, D'Aubrey and Kistnasamy (1975) suggested that this species differed from P. pantherinum, in having its anal origin slightly behind the first dorsal insertion (below or ahead of it in the latter species), but this is incorrect as shown by the Port St. Johns specimen.

Type material:
Holotype: Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, ANSP 53427, 225 mm immature female. Type Locality: Natal, South Africa, 37 m depth.

Barbeled catshark (Poroderma marleyi)