Family: Squatinidae – Angel Sharks
Common Name– Angel Sharks or Angelsharks
Status: IUCN Red List DATA DEFICIENT
Average Size and Length: The holotype was a male measured at 103 cm/ 3.4 feet.
Current Rare Mythical Sightings: The holotype was mysteriously lost.
Teeth and Jaw: Chilean angelsharks have expendable necks and trap-like jaws that can rapidly snap upwards and hinge shut. They have long, needle-like teeth in the upper and in the lower jaws used for gripping.
Denticles: The holotype had heavy thorns on the snout and between the eyes. There is a double row of large hooked thorns on the midline of the back, and between and behind the dorsal fins. There are enlarged thorns on the leading edge of the pectoral fins.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Chilean angelshark can be found in the southeast Pacific in the subtropical waters of Chile. They may be found in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The holotype was found over the continental shelf between 98-246 feet.
Ram-Suction Index: They have an RSI more towards the suction end of the scale. They lay flat and still on the bottom, when the time comes, they lung at prey and suck it into their mouths with negative pressure.
Aesthetic Identification: The Chilean angeshark is reddish-brown to grey dorsally. They are paler on the ventral side. The body is flat and broad, and the pelvic and pectoral fins are broad and angular and have the appearance of large wings. There are two dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin origin is behind the free rear tips of the pelvic fins. The pelvic fins taper to what appear to be long tails. There is no anal fin.
Biology and Reproduction: Reproduction is presumably ovoviviparous.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: They more than likely behave like their other family members, and have similar sensing and intelligence. Read more on other angel shark species here in our knowledge base.
Chilean Angelshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. More than likely the Peruvian angelshark fishery may take more than one species. Given the nature of this family group, and its limited range, the Chilean angelshark is more than likely susceptible to vulnerably.
Chilean Angelshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: More than likely Chilean angelsharks aren’t dangerous to humans unless provoked. Because of their powerful jaws and sharp teeth, they can inflict injury on anyone or anything that may pose a threat to them. There have been cases of Angel sharks biting divers that have tried to restrain them, approach too close to the head, corner them, or grab their tails. However, given the holotype was lost, and there hasn’t been a sighting since, they aren’t a threat to humans.