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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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Author: (Müller and Henle, 1838)

Field Marks:
A Halaelurus with pointed snout, short abdomen, short anal base, and colour pattern of dusky bands flanked by large black spots.

Diagnostic Features:
Snout tip not upturned and knoblike, pointed; eyes in adults less than 14 times in distance from snout to first dorsal origin; anterior nasal flaps subtriangular; labial furrows extremely short or I absent, when present essentially confined to mouthcorners and with lowers extending 2 mm or less ontolower jaw; mouth moderate-sized, its width 7% of totallength, its length 3 to 4% of total length; status ofpapillae in pharynx unknown; gill slits directed dorso-laterally, elevated above level of mouth. First dorsal origin over last fourth of pelvic bases; second dorsal about as larne as or sliahtiv smaller than first. its origin over last third of anal base; abdomen short in adults, distance between pectoral and pelvic bases less than 1.5 times pectoral anterior margin; length of anal base about 1.3 times the second dorsal base, almost 2 times in distance between dorsal bases. Colour pattern variegated, with obscure dusky saddles and large black spots outlining their margins on a light background. Adults moderate-sized, to about 49 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Western North Pacific: Japan, the Koreas, China, including Taiwan Island.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known, but common tropical and temperate bottom-dwelling catshark of the western Pacific continental 3 shelf, at.depths down from 80 to 100 m. Oviparous, but with several egg-capsules retained in the oviduct until embryos reach an advanced: stage before they are laid, which is a condition regarded by Nakaya (1975) as being intermediate between oviparity with one egg being laid 1 per uterus at a time, with the embryo at an early stage, and ovoviviparity.

Maximum about 49 cm, adolescent male 36 cm, adult males from 36 to 43 cm, female immature at 36 cm and gravid at 45 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present, taken with bottom trawls in the Taiwan Straits.

Type material:
Lectotype: Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie, Leiden, RMNH D2593. Type Locality: Japan.

Blackspotted catshark (Halaelurus buergeri)