Poroderma pantherinum (Müller & Henle, 1838)
Leopard catshark
photo by Scheepers, C.

Family:  Scyliorhinidae (Cat sharks)
Max. size:  84 cm TL (male/unsexed); 73 cm TL (female)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 256 m
Distribution:  Southeast Atlantic: Saldanha to central Natal, South Africa.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. A stocky shark with long nasal barbels and a highly variable color pattern of black spots, rings and lines in horizontal rows on a grey to whitish background; white below (Ref. 5578). There are 3 different forms, the typical 'pantherinum' with lines and rosettes of spots, and two extreme forms, 'marleyi' with large dark spots (formerly considered a separate species), and 'salt and pepper' with small, densely packed black spots, intermediates between these extremes are extremely common (Ref. 5578).
Biology:  Found on or near the bottom of warm-temperate waters, from the intertidal zone to 256 m (Ref. 5578). Prefers rocky reefs (Ref. 5578). Nocturnal (Ref. 244). Feeds on small bony fish, crustaceans, octopus and polychaete worms (Ref. 5578). Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Readily kept in captivity (Ref. 244).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 12 May 2004 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 26.01.04
Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 23.03.94

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