This catshark may be able to switch between oviparous and ovoviviparous

The Lined catshark or sometimes called the Banded catshark (Halaelurus lineatus) is a species of catshark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. It is found in the waters off the coasts of Beira, Mozambique, to East London, and South Africa between latitudes 19°S and 31°S, from the surface to 951 feet. It can grow up to 56 cm/1.8 feet in length. Mostly only pregnant females have been captured.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Halaelurus 

Species: lineatus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born around 8 cm. Adult males have been recorded between 48-56 cm/1.5-1.8 feet. Adult females have been recorded between 46-52 cm/1.5-1.7 feet. The maximum recorded is 56 cm/1.8 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: Females have been recorded to have teeth that are pointed with 3 cusps with the center cusp much longer then the outer two cusps.

Head: The head is narrow, and there is an upturned knob on the snout. The eyes are raised above the head. The gill slits are on the upper surface of the head, above the mouth and behind the eye.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Lined catshark can be found in the west Indian Ocean in South Africa from east London to Mozambique (19°S and 31°S). They are found on the continental shelf from the surf line to 951 feet. They are subtropical demersal.

Diet: They eat mostly crustaceans, bony fish and cephalopods.

Aesthetic Identification: The Lined catshark is pale brown dorsally, with around 13 pairs of dark brown stripes outlining dusky saddles, with many small spots and squiggles, and they are cream colored ventrally.

Biology and Reproduction: Most of the Lined catsharks caught off of KwaZulu-Natal are pregnant females. They are possibly oviparous, with up to 8 egg cases per oviduct retained until the embryos are close to hatching. Eggs have hatches in 23-26 days in captivity. They could possibly be ovoviviparous in the wild. More research is needed.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: They may segregate by depth or region. Adult males and young are rarely caught. Pregnant females are mostly caught.

Lined Catshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. They are commonly caught in prawn trawler as bycatch.

Lined Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.