Crested Hornshark, Heterodontus galeatus (Günther 1870)


Other Names: Crested Bull Shark, Crested Bullhead Shark, Crested Horn Shark, Crested Port Jackson Shark, Crested Shark

Crested Horn Shark, Heterodontus galeatus, at Camp Cove, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Source: Taso Viglas / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:

A medium-sized shark with a blunt rounded head, large prominent crests above the eyes, two triangular dorsal fins, each preceded by a spine, and indistinct broad dark bars on the body.

The Crested Horn Shark is less common than the Port Jackson Shark.

Video of a Crested Horn Shark at Bawley Point, New South Wales.

Video of a Crested Horn Shark trying to eat an eggcase at Sydney, New South Wales.


Cite this page as:

Dianne J. Bray, 2011, Crested Hornshark, Heterodontus galeatus, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 May 2016, http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1981

Crested Hornshark, Heterodontus galeatus (Günther 1870)

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to warm temperate and temperate waters of eastern Australia, from about Cape Moreton in southern Queensland to Batemans Bay in southern New South Wales.

Crested Hornsharks are nocturnal and inhabit rocky reefs with large macroalgae, and nearby sandy and seagrass areas in depths of 1-93 m. The species is more common in the warmer parts of its range.

Size

To 1.5 m TL

Colour


Feeding

Carnivores. Crested Hornsharks are nocturnal and have a similar diet to the Port Jackson Shark. They feed on a range of bottom-living invertebrates, including echinoderms (especially the sea urchins Centrostephanus rodgersii and Heliocardis erythrogramma) crabs, molluscs and small fishes, using their large rear molars to crush their prey.

The jaw teeth range from small and pointed at the front, to wide, molar-like teeth at the rear of the jaw used for crushing hard-shelled prey items.

Biology

Very little is known of the biology and life history of Crested Hornsharks in the wild. During late winter, females lay spiral-shaped egg cases (11 cm long) attached to sponges and algae by the very long tendrils (up to 2 metres long). The young reportedly hatch at 17-22 cm TL after  8-9 months. The egg cases are thought to be laid in deeper water than those of the Port Jackson Shark.

Fisheries

Crested Hornsharks are not targeted in commercial fisheries and, unlike Port Jackson Sharks, are not taken as often as commercial bycatch or by recreational fishers.

Conservation

IUCN Red List: Least Concern

EPBC Act 1999: Not listed

Remarks


Similar Species

Differs from the Port Jackson Shark, Heterodontus portusjacksoni, in having more prominent ridges above the eyes and in lacking harness-like markings on the body.

Etymology

Heterodontus is from the Greek heteros meaning 'other' and odous meaning 'teeth'. The specific name galeatus is Latin meaning 'helmeted', in reference to the large ridges above the eyes.

Species Citation

Squalus portusjacksoni Meyer, 1793,  Systematisch-summarische Uebersicht der neuesten zoologischen Entdeckungen in Neuholland und Afrika: 71. Type Locality: Botany Bay, New South Wales

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Resources


Crested Hornshark, Heterodontus galeatus (Günther 1870)

References


Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(1) pp. 1-249.

Compagno, L.J.V. 2001. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). Rome : FAO, FAO Species Catalogue for Fisheries Purposes No. 1 Vol. 2 269 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Jacups, A. 1943. A young crested Port Jackson shark. Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. 1943: 11.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kyne, P.M. & Bennett, M.B. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Heterodontus galeatus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 11 May 2013.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Macbeth, W.G., Vandenberg, M. & Graham, K.J. 2008. Identifying Sharks and Rays; a Guide for Commercial Fishers. Sydney : New South Wales Department of Primary Industry 71 pp.

McLaughlin, R.H. 1969. The ecology of heterodont sharks. Unpublished PhD. Thesis, University of New South Wales, Sydney.

McLaughlin, R.H. & O’Gower, A.K. 1971. Life history and underwater studies of a heterodont shark. Ecological Monographs 41(4): 271-289.

Michael, S.W. 1993. Reef sharks and rays of the world. A guide to their identification, behavior and ecology. Sea Challengers, Monterey, California.

Meyer, F.A. 1793. Systematisch-summarische Uebersicht der neuesten zoologischen Entdeckungen in Neuholland und Afrika. Leipzig : Dykirchen 178 pp.

Stead, D.G. 1963. Sharks and Rays of Australian Seas. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 211 pp. 63 figs.

Waite, E.R. 1896. On the egg-cases of some Port Jackson sharks. Journal of the Linnean Society of London 25: 325-329.

Whitley, G.P. 1940. The Fishes of Australia. Part 1. The sharks, rays, devil-fish, and other primitive fishes of Australia and New Zealand. Sydney : Roy. Zool. Soc. N.S.W. 280 pp. 303 figs. (as Molochophrys galeatus)

Whitley, G.P. 1950. Development of a Port Jackson shark. Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. 1950: 28

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37007003

Behaviour:1.5 metres TL

Conservation:IUCN: Least Concern

Depth:1-93 metres

Habitat:Rocky reefs

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map