SOUTHERN LOLLIPOP CATSHARK
The head is expanded and flattened, like a lollipop
The Southern Lollipop catshark (Cephalurus sp. A) is a little-known species of deep-sea catshark, belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. They can be found in Peru and Chile, and have a few slight differences from the Lollipop catshark, one being that the Southern Lollipop catshark is slightly larger. They can be easily identified by its tadpole-like shape with a greatly expanded, rounded head and narrow body. The large head houses expanded gills, which are thought to be an adaptation for hypoxic conditions or low oxygenated areas.
Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks
Species: sp. A
Common Name– Ground Sharks
Common Name– Catsharks
Species– sp. A
Status: IUCN Red List NOT EVALUATED
Average Size and Length: Adults reach 26-32 cm/10 inches-1 foot.
Teeth and Jaw: The Southern Lollipop catshark has a dusky mouth lining, versus a white or yellow mouth lining in the Lollipop catshark. The mouth has a pair of furrows at the corners that curl around from the upper to the lower jaw. The widely spaced teeth have a large central cusp flanked by 1–3 cusplets on both sides. The upper teeth are straight while the lower teeth are curved somewhat outward. There are numerous small papillae on the tongue and roof of the mouth.
Head: The head is expanded, rounded and flattened. The Southern Lollipop catshark has slightly smaller eyes than the Lollipop catshark.
Denticles: The skin is very thin, giving them the soft feel. The skin is delicate and sparsely covered by thorn-like dermal denticles interspersed with narrower hair-like denticles that become more numerous on the back.
Tail: The caudal fin is low, with an indistinct lower lobe and a shallow ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Southern Lollipop catshark can be found in Peru and Chile. They can be found on the upper continental slope and outermost shelf, on or near the bottom between 509-3,041 feet. The expanded gill areas suggest that the Southern Lollipop catshark is adapted to areas of the seabed with low dissolved oxygen levels. They are considered bathydemersal.
Diet: More than likely they eat crustaceans and then fish.
Aesthetic Identification: The Southern Lollipop catshark is very similar to the Lollipop catshark but is larger. They possibly differ in coloration. The Southern Lollipop catshark may be slightly darker, being dark brown to blackish, as opposed to light brownish. They are shaped like a tadpole. Like the head, the gill region is also expanded. The five pairs of gill slits are distinctive, being strongly arched forward. They are small, slender and very soft. They are almost gelatinous. The body and tail are also slender. There are two small dorsal fins and an anal fin. The first dorsal fin origin is slightly in front of the pelvic fin origins. The second dorsal fin is about as long and slightly lower than the first, and is positioned opposite the anal fin. The dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins have convex leading and nearly straight trailing margins. The pectoral fins are angular, twice as long as wide, and originate beneath the fourth gill slit.
Biology and Reproduction: The Southern Lollipop catshark is more than likely ovoviviparous like the Lollipop catshark.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.
Southern Lollipop Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.