Paragaleus pectoralis (Garman, 1906)
Atlantic weasel shark
photo by FAO

Family:  Hemigaleidae (Weasel sharks)
Max. size:  140 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; depth range - 100 m
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: Cape Verde and Mauritania to northern Namibia (Ref. 244, 5578); possibly extending north to Morocco. Record from the Northwest Atlantic, specifically in New England, has not been verified even after an extensive survey of the area has been conducted.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. A slender weasel shark with a moderately long snout, large eyes, and a short, small mouth with small, serrated upper teeth and erect-cusped lower teeth (Ref. 5578). Light grey or bronze with longitudinal yellow stripes, fins plain; white below (Ref. 5578).
Biology:  A very common inshore to offshore shark of the continental shelf occurring at depths of a few meters to slightly over 100 m (Ref. 244). A specialist feeder that prefers cephalopods, also feeds on small bony fishes (Ref. 244). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Utilized fresh and dried salted for human consumption, and processed into fishmeal (Ref. 244).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 01 December 2008 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 01.03.04
Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 30.03.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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