Bythaelurus hispidus

Scientific Name:-
Bythaelurus hispidus

Common Name:-
Bristly Catshark

Malayalam Name:-
Roma Poocha Sravu


Classified as Data Deficient in IUCN Redlist of species.


Body not tadpole–shaped, slender to moderately stout and cylindrical or fusiform, tapering slightly or moderately to caudal fin; body soft, with dermal denticles well–calcified or weakly so and erect, giving the body a velvety texture; stomach not inflatable. Tail fairly short, length from vent to lower caudal–fin origin about 0.5 to 0.6 of snout–vent length. Head moderately depressed, narrowly rounded in lateral view. Snout rounded. Eyes in adults less than 14 times in distance from snout to first dorsal–fin origin. Anterior nasal flaps subtriangular. Oral papillae present in pharynx. Abdomen moderately long in adults, distance between pectoral and pelvic–fin bases 1.3 to 1.4 times pectoral–fin anterior margin. First dorsal–fin origin over last third of pelvic–fin bases. Second dorsal fin slightly smaller than first, origin over or slightly in front of anal–fin midbase. Length of anal–fin base about 1.5 to 1.7 times second dorsal–fin base, slightly shorter than distance between dorsal–fin bases. Vertebral counts: total vertebral counts 123 to 131, monospondylous vertebral counts 35 to 38. Adults very small, 29 cm total length or less. Colour: Pale brown or whitish, sometimes with obscure grey cross–bands, white spots, or dusky spots.


In Kerala rarely caught in trawl nets.


Found on the upper continental slopes, this species feeds on small fishes, squid and crustaceans. Akhilesh et al. (2013) collected this species from the by-catch of the commercial deep-sea shrimp trawl fishery operating in the Arabian Sea at depths of 200-500?m off the south-west coast of India.


Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 200 - 400 m Image Courtesy: FAO


Halaelurus hispidium (Alcock, 1891) (misspelling); Halaelurus hispidus (Alcock, 1891); Scyllium hispidum Alcock, 1891


Akhilesh KV, White WT, Bineesh KK, Ganga U and Pillai NG.(2013). Biological observations on the bristly catshark Bythaelurus hispidus from deep waters off the south-west coast of India. J Fish Biol., 82(5):1582-91. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12087.
Bailly, N. (2015). Bythaelurus hispidus (Alcock, 1891). In: Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. (2015) FishBase. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=316765 on 2015-06-15
Compagno, L.J.V. 2001. 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). FAO, Rome.
Froese, R. & D. Pauly (Editors). (2015). FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. , available online at http://www.fishbase.org
Nair, R.V. and K.K. Appukuttan, 1973. Observation on the food of deep sea sharks Halaelurus hispidus (Alcock), Eridacnis radcliffei Smith and Iago omanensis Compagno and Springer. Indian J. Fish. 20:2575-583.
Venkataraman, K., John Milton, M.C. and Raghuram, K.P. 2003. Handbook on Sharks of Indian Waters: Diversity, Fishery status, Trade and Conservation. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata.
White, W.T. 2004. Bythaelurus hispidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 15 June 2015

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