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Heterodontus zebra:   (click for more)

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Synonyms
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  • ?Cestracion philippi var. japonicus  Dumeril, 1865: 426 (In part? See note above under Heterodontus japonicus).
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  • Cestracion amboinensis  Regan, 1906b: 436. Holotype: British Museum (Natural History), BMNH 1867.11.28.100 or 183, 580 mm specimen, Amboyna (confirmed by Eschmeyer, 1998: CD-ROM, who gives the catalogue number).
    FAO Names
    En - Zebra bullhead shark, Fr - Requin dormeur zébré, Sp - Dormilón acebrado.
    3Alpha Code: HEZ     Taxonomic Code: 1040100108
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Centracion zebra  Gray, 1831, Zool. Misc.: 5. Holotype: British Museum (Natural History), BMNH 1953.5.10.4, dry specimen, female about 47 cm, from Swatow, China (confirmed by Eschmeyer, 1998, Cat. Fish., CD-ROM, who gives the catalogue number). C. zebra Agassiz, 1853, Proc. Am. Acad. Sci., 3: 65 (Eschmeyer, ibid.), possibly a correction of Gray's generic allocation rather than a new name.
    Diagnostic Features
    fieldmarks: Dorsal fins with spines, anal fin present, striking zebra-striped colour pattern of numerous narrow dark vertical saddles and bands on light background.

    Supraorbital ridges low, gradually ending posteriorly; interorbital space very shallowly concave with depth between ridges about one-fourth eye length.  Anterior holding teeth with a cusp and probably a pair of cusplets in adults, posterior molariform teeth strongly carinate and not greatly expanded and rounded.  Pre-first dorsal-fin length 21 to 27% and anal-caudal space 10 to 12% of total length. Lateral trunk denticles fairly small and smooth.  Propterygium fused to mesopterygium.  First dorsal-fin spine directed obliquely posterodorsally in young and adults; first dorsal-fin origin anterior to pectoral-fin insertions, slightly behind pectoral-fin midbases, and well posterior to fifth gill openings; first dorsal-fin insertion well anterior to pelvic-fin origins and well behind pectoral-fin insertions; first dorsal-fin free rear tip about opposite to or somewhat behind pelvic-fin origins; first dorsal fin very high and falcate in young and moderately high and falcate in adults, first dorsal-fin height 9 to 27% of total length, first dorsal fin much larger than pelvic fins; second dorsal-fin origin behind pelvic-fin rear tips, second dorsal fin falcate and much smaller than first dorsal fin. Anal fin subangular and rounded to falcate, apex slightly anterior to lower caudal-fin origin when laid back; anal-caudal space over twice anal-fin base.  Total vertebral count 117, precaudal count 74 to 81, monospondylous precaudal count 34 to 38, diplospondylous precaudal count 39 to 45, pre-first dorsal-fin spine count 15 to 17, and count from diplospondylous transition to second dorsal-fin spine 10 to 16.  Egg cases with flat thin spiral flanges nearly transverse to case axis, without tendrils on case apices but with short ones on opposite end, flanges with a single turn.  A large species, mature between 64 and 122 cm.  Background colour of dorsal surface white or cream with a zebra-striped pattern of 22 to 36 brown or black, narrow vertical markings from snout tip to origin of caudal fin, with bold saddles and bands often separated by more diffused narrow bands, without light or dark spots, bands not arranged in a harness pattern; head with transverse dark and light bars on interorbital surface, and with a bilobate pair of dark bands separated by a light stripe under eye; fins without abrupt dark tips and white dorsal-fin apices; hatchlings without whorls on fins and body, colour pattern as in adults. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Western Pacific: Japan, Korean peninsula, China, Taiwan (Province of China), Viet Nam, Indonesia (Sulawesi, Ambon), and tropical Australia (northern Western Australia).
    Habitat and Biology
    A common but little-known bottom shark, found on the continental and insular shelves of the western Pacific,from inshore down to at least 50 m in the South China Sea, but deeper and in 150 to 200 m off Western Australia.


    Oviparous, details of spawning not recorded.  Biology poorly known.Probably eats bottom invertebrates as with other members of the family.
    Size
    Maximum total length about 122 cm, hatchlings at least 15 cm, males immature at 44 cm and mature at 64 to 84 cm, females to 122 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Probably of minimal interest to commercial fisheries. Caught as bycatch by commercial trawlers and possibly other fisheries in its range.

    Conservation Status : Conservation status unknown but of some concern. Utilization in aquarium trade not recorded, but an obvious candidate because of its attractive colour pattern.
    Local Names
    Japan : Zebra horn shark ,  Zebra Port Jackson shark ,  Striped bullhead shark ,  Barred bull-head shark ,  Barred shark ,  Striped cat shark ,  Shima-nekozame .
    China : Maou urh sha ,  Mau i sha ,  Little shark .
    Source of Information
    Sharks of the world An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Volume 2 Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). Leonard J.V. Compagno 2001.  FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 1, Vol. 2. Rome, FAO. 2001. p.269.
    Bibliography
    Bessednov, 1969
    Chen, 1963
    Compagno, 1984
    Compagno & Niem, 1998
    Fowler, 1941
    Last & Stevens, 1994
    Lindberg & Legeza, 1959
    Nakaya & Shirai, 1984
    Smith, 1942
    Taylor, 1972
     
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