Crocodile Shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai (Matsubara 1936)


A Crocodile Shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai, from off north Westarn Australia. Source: Martin Gomon / Museum Victoria. License: CC BY-Attribution

Summary:
A small uncommon pelagic shark with a spindle-shaped body and very large eyes. The species is found worldwide, usually in the open ocean in depths to about 600 metres.

The Crocodile Shark has a short head, a pointed snout, two dorsal fins, the first twice the size of the second, and broad rounded pectoral and pelvic fins. The species also has very large eyes that lack a nictitating membrane, five long gill slits extending onto the head. The large mouth has protrusible jaws that reach beyond the eyes, with large spike-like teeth at the front and dagger-like teeth further back. They have long slender teeth and feed on mesopelagic fishes, crustaceans and squid.

Cite this page as:

Dianne J. Bray, 2011, Crocodile Shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Oct 2014, http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3001

Crocodile Shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai (Matsubara 1936)

More Info


Distribution

Widespread in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. Crocodile sharks inhabit epi- and mesopelagic waters in depths to 600 metres.

Features


Size

Maximum length 110 cm.

Colour

Dark brown above, paler below, often with a few dark blotches on the sides, a white mark in front of the first gill slit, and fins with whitish margins.

Feeding

Reported to feed on mesopelagic fishes, crustaceans and squid.

Biology

Crocodile sharks are ovoviviparous, with embryos engaging in oophagy, where the largest embryos feed on other eggs in the uterus. Females have litters of 4 pups which measure 40 cm at birth. Females mature by about 90 cm, and males by about 75 cm.

Fisheries

Taken as bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries, and occasionally in pelagic gill net fisheries.

Conservation

IUCN Red List: Near Threatened
EPBC Act 1999: Not listed

Remarks


Similar Species


Etymology

The common name, Crocodile Shark, is from its habit of rapidly snapping its jaws when caught and taken aboard ship.

Species Citation

  • Carcharias kamoharai Matsubara, K. 1936. A new carcharoid shark found in Japan. Zoological Magazine, Tokyo 48(7): 380-382 [380].
  • Type locality: Koti fish market, Japan

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Resources


Crocodile Shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai (Matsubara 1936)

References


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 [225]

Compagno, L.J.V. 1998. Families Pseudocarchariidae, Alopiidae, Lamnidae. pp. 1268-1278 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 2 687-1396 pp. [1268]

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. [72]

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp. [177]

Compagno, L.J.V. & Musick, J.A. 2005. Pseudocarcharias kamoharai. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 09 July 2012.

Fujita, K. 1981. Oviphagous embryos of the pseudocarchariid shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai, from the central Pacific". Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 28(1): 37–44.
Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls [150]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. [162]

Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean a Natural History & Illustrated Guide. Sydney : University of New South Wales Press Ltd 266 pp. [210]

Stewart, A. 2001. First record of the crocodile shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai (Chondrichthys: Lamniformes), from New Zealand waters. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 35: 1001-1006

White, W. 2008. Shark Families Heterodontidae to Pristiophoridae. pp. 32-100 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. [37]


Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37009003

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Depth:surface to 590 m

Feeding:Carnivore

Habitat:Epi- & mesopelagic

Max Size:1.1 metres

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map