Shark Family Tree

Pretty Happy: Haplobleparus pictus


Haploblepharus pictus is endemic to Namibia and South Africa. An abundant inshore catshark, it is commonly caught by rock and surf anglers, and regularly seen by scuba divers and snorkellers. Its habitat preference appears to be kelp forests and rocky inshore reefs. Variation in colour pattern of this species and morphological similarity with other members of this genus has led to misidentifications of this species for H. edwardsii, particularly east of Cape Algulhas, South Africa. The main threat is recreational fishing where this shark is taken as discarded bycatch, generally regarded as a nuisance by the fishermen, and persecuted as such. It is not seen in other inshore fishery activities. Its apparent abundance and lack of significant fishing related threats give no reason to suspect a decline in abundance and this species is listed as Least Concern. However, its endemicity and habitat preference means that monitoring is required for both its abundance and health of its preferred habitat. Possible population substructuring needs to be assessed.

H pictus slide

Also known as:  Dark Shyshark
 Southeast Atlantic and southwest Indian Ocean: central Namibia to South Africa (East London)
Behaviour: Curls up with tail over eyes when captured.
Biology:  Oviparous. One egg laid per oviduct.
Diet: Eats bony fishes, sea snails, cephalopods, crustaceans, polychaetes and echinoderms, occasionally algae.
The information on this page is brought to you by Sharks of the World and The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 


Ebert, D. A., Fowler, S. & Compagno, L. J. V. (2013c). Sharks of the World – A fully illustrated guide. Wild Nature Press, ISBN 978-0-9573946-0-5: 528pp.

Human, B. 2009. Haploblepharus pictus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161650A5472861.


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