PORT PHILLIP BAY


Australian Angelshark 

Squatina australis Regan, 1906

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Additional information in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Flattened sharks superficially resembling skates and rays. Comprises a single family, the Squatinidae.

Family level detail.
Body flattened, ray-like, 5 gill openings on sides of head, mouth terminal with well-developed nasal barbels, pectoral fins very large, not fully attached to head and body, two dorsal fins without spines, anal fin absent. A small family with a single genus.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Order:
Squatiniformes
Family:
Squatinidae
Genus:
Squatina
Species:
australis

General Description

A large angelshark with a wide, flattened body and broad pectoral fins; tail long, with two short dorsal fins and prominent lateral keels; anal fin absent; head with eyes and spiracles on top; nasal barbels fringed; gill slits on the sides; a flat to slightly convex space between the eyes; mouth terminal with relatively long, sharp pointed teeth. Upper surface greyish-brown and covered in small irregular pale spots; pectoral and pelvic fins with white margins; lower lobe of tail with dark spots. To more than 1.5 m.

Biology

This species is common off beaches. They are ambush predators feeding on fishes, crustaceans and squid. Females give birth to live young.

Habitat

Sandy bottoms, to depths of 130 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Sharks

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1.5 m

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Although considered harmless to humans, has the potential to bite.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Australian Angelshark, Squatina australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/8015

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