Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australis
    Genus
    Cirrhigaleus
    Family
    Squalidae
    Order
    Squaliformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 1.2 m in length.

Introduction

The Mandarin Shark has two dorsal fins that are both preceded by a long spine. Until recently the species was confused with Cirrhigaleus barbifer, which occours in more northerly waters.

Identification

The Mandarin Shark has two widely spaced dorsal fins that are both preceded by a long spine. There is a pair of long nasal lobes on the underside of the snout.

It is grey-brown above and pale below. The posterior margins of the pectoral and pelvic fins are white.

For many years the species was confused with the Cirrhigaleus barbifer, which occurs in the western North Pacific and Indonesia. The two species can be distinguished by morphology and differences in the CO1 gene. The Mandarin Shark has a smaller eye, shorter dorsal-caudal space and smaller pectoral fins, dorsal fins and spines.
 

Habitat

The species is found in continental slope waters at depths between 360 m and 640 m.

Distribution

The Mandarin Shark occurs of south-eastern Australia and from the Bay of Plenty region, North Island, New Zealand.

In Australia it is known from off the Sydney region, New South Wales to off eastern Tasmania.

Ozcam map of Mandarin Shark specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=cirrhigaleus%20australis%20&zoom=off#mapView

References

  1. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.
  2. White, W.T., Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 2007. Cirrhigaleus australis n. sp., a new Mandarin dogfish (Squaliformes: Squalidae) from the south-west Pacific. Zootaxa. 1560: 19-30.