New Discovery

Bythaelurus stewarti, A new deep-water catshark from northwestern Indian Ocean

A new deep-water catshark, Bythaelurus stewarti, is found at Mount Error Guyot in the north-western Indian Ocean. The family Scyliorhinidae sensu lato, comprises all catsharks and is the largest family with currently 158 described and valid species. Members of the family can reach maximum total lengths from 27 to 162 cm and live in shallow and deep water on continental and insular shelves and slopes intemperate and tropical latitudes of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans, between depths of 0 to 2200 m.

Bythaelurus stewartia n. sp., holotype, adult male, 425 mm TL, in (A) lateral, (B) dorsal, and (C) ventral views.

A new deep-water catshark, Bythaelurus stewarti, is found at Mount Error Guyot in the north-western Indian Ocean. The family Scyliorhinidae sensu lato, comprises all catsharks and is the largest family with currently 158described and valid species. Members of the family can reach maximum total lengths from 27 to 162 cm and live in shallow and deep water on continental and insular shelves and slopes intemperate and tropical latitudes of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans, between depths of 0 to 2200 m.

Bythaelurus stewartia n. sp., (A) paratype e, gravid female, 425 mm TL, (B) paratype, juvenile male, 340 mm TL, and (C) paratype e, female embryo, 137.3 mm TL in lateral views.

However, the family Scyliorhinidae sensu lato has beenshown to be from the same ancestral group and the subfamily Pentanchinae and Scy-liorhinidae sensu stricto both subfamilies are distinguished by the absence vs. presence of a supra-orbital crest.

The family Pentanchidae comprises the 11 genera giving a total of 109 species.

  • Apristurus (39 species)
  • Asymbolus (9 species)
  • Bythaelurus (13 species)
  • Cephalurus (1 species)
  • Figaro (2 species)
  • Galeus (18 species)
  • Halaelurus (7 species)
  • Haplo-blepharus (4 species)
  • Holohalaelurus (5 species)
  • Parmaturus (10 species)
  • Pentanchus (1 species)

 The family Scyliorhinidaesensu stricto contains the 6 genera with a total of 49 species.

  • Atelomycterus (6 species)
  • Aulohalaelurus (2 species)
  • Cephaloscyllium (18 species)
  • Poroderma (2 species)
  • Schroederichthys (5 species)
  • Scyliorhinus (16 species)
Bythaelurus stewarti n. sp., holotype and paratype (adult male)

Species of Bythaelurus, originally erected as a subgenus of Halaelurus are deep-water catsharks with bluntly rounded snouts and soft bodies. Bythaelurus species are small to medium-sized catsharks (maximum total lengths from 30 cm to 76 cm) that live in deep water on continental and insular slopes in temperate and tropical latitudes of the Indian and Pacific oceans, between depths of 200 and 1443 m.

The Complete set of papers on Bythaelurus stewarti is available here.

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Shaan

Like always it's my day one in the hobby. Always been a hobbyist but never knew would dive so deep in the hobby. I too started with a freshwater aquarium. When I first started saltwater aquarium it just grew on me and I knew that had to do more in this hobby. I am a Post-Grad in Business Administration have worked with Coldstar Logistics, Amazon and Jindal's before jumping completely in the ocean. Other than aquarium hobby I have my interests in travel, digital games and consumer web technology.

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