Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes
(Ground sharks) > Scyliorhinidae
(Cat sharks) > Atelomycterinae
Etymology: Atelomycterus: ateles (Gr.), imperfect, unfilled or exempt; mycteros (Gr.), nostril, referring to lack of posterior nasal valve. (See ETYFish); marnkalha: Indigenous Australian (Rrumburriya clan) word for regional catshark species in Yanyuwa country, where one of the first specimens was recorded. (See ETYFish).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; benthopelagic; depth range 11 - 74 m (Ref. 75152). Tropical; 9°S - 22°S, 143°E - 150°E (Ref. 75152)
Western Pacific: from Gladstone in Central East Queensland, Australia to the southern reaches of Papua New Guinea.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - 35.4 cm
Max length : 47.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 75152); 48.4 cm TL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
This relatively small species (up to 49 cm TL) is distinguished by the following set of characters: a relatively long snout, preoral length 4.7-5.1% TL; head length 19.3-19.9% TL, precaudal length 79.7-82.6% TL; short interdorsal space 12.2-13.9% TL; anal fin height 2.5-3.0% TL; comparatively long anal fin length 9.7-10.8 % TL and anal fin base-length 8.2-9.1% TL; adult claspers elongate, broad base, tapering moderately from base to tip; adult male claspers with outer length 7.2-9.0% TL, clasper base width 20.2-22.5% of clasper outer length; clasper glans covering more than half length of entire clasper; enlarged tab on cover rhipidion, which is moderately large, concealed predominantly by large cover rhipidion and exorhipidion; pseudosiphon over half length of cover rhipidion; large pseudopera; narrow clasper tip and of moderate width, bluntly pointed. Total vertebral 147-153 (N=16); precaudal counts 95–99 (n=16). Color pattern dominated by broad brownish saddles and transverse bands on tan/light brown background; prominent dark brown to black spots and white spots on dorsal and lateral surfaces.; dark brown to black spots concentrated predominantly on saddle margins and as irregular transverse lines in inter-saddle spaces; decreasing in number post second dorsal fin; significant numbers of small to medium sized white spots are found along entire length of animal; white spots increasing in concentration towards posterior end of animal (Ref. 75152).
Comparison: this species has posteroventally sloping dorsal fins; lower precaudal vertebrae count and smaller adult size when compared to A. baliensis, A. marmoratus and A. macleayi; it differs from A. fasciatus, the species with the most morphological similarities, in having a larger anal fin, lateral denticles with prominent shallow depressions, claspers of adult males with a cover rhipidion without an obvious notch and with prominent white spots and fewer, smaller black spots (Ref. 75152).
Specimens collected from a variety of environmental substrates ranging from sandy to course rubble at depths of capture from 10.6 to 74 m, with most records shallower than 50 m. Maximum size in total length for males 19.0- 47.0 cm and for females 17.8-48.4 cm TL. The average mass of adult males was 92.5% of the adult females, with considerable overlap between large males and small females. Mass of adult males 182.5-286.0 g (n=5, mean = 203.8, sd = 43.6); adult females 150-386.3 g (n=4, mean = 220.3, sd =111.2); while there was a considerable overlap in the mass of juveniles and adults for both males and females.
Smallest sexually mature female 35.4 cm TL with size at first maturity being possibly lower; while the smallest sexually mature male recorded was 34.5 cm TL. Reproduction is expected to be oviparous, although no egg casings were recorded from the sample specimens. This species feeds mainly on benthic invertebrates and small teleost species. Stomach content of 4 specimens included penaeid prawns, brachyuran crabs, cephalopods (Order Teuthida) and teleost species from the families Gobiidae and Platycephalidae (Ref. 75152).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Jacobsen, I.P. and M.P. Bennett, 2007. Description of a new species of catshark, Atelomycterus marnkalha n. sp. (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) from noeth-east Australia. Zootaxa 1520:19-36. (Ref. 75152)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 25.6 - 27.4, mean 26.3 °C (based on 30 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5156 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.5 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary low fecundity).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (38 of 100).