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 Port Jackson shark (Heterodontus portusjacksoni)

  Index
> Photo
> Range Map
> Systematics
> Name
> Appearance
> Coloration
> Distribution
> Biology
> Feeding
> Size
> Reproduction
> Similar Species
> Endangerment
> Danger to Humans

 Photo

Port Jackson shark
© Doug Perrine / SeaPics
 Range Map

Earth Map


 Systematics

Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Bullhead sharks (Heterodontiformes)
    Family: Bullhead sharks (Heterodontidae)
      Genus: Heterodontus (Heterodontus)


 Name

Scientific: Heterodontus portusjacksoni
German: Port Jackson Stierkopfhai
English: Port Jackson shark, Oystercrusher, Pigfish, Bulldog shark
French: Requin dormeur taureau
Spanish: Dormilon toro


 Appearance

Cylindrical trunk with conical head, small spiracles behind and below the eyes. Very short snout, bluntly rounded. Supraorbital ridges low which do not end abruptly behind the eyes. Both dorsal fins with a stout fin spine. Origin of first dorsal fin over base of pectoral fins. Origin of second dorsal fin over insertion of pelvic fins. Large pectoral fins. Anal fin present.

 Coloration

Grey to light brown or even whitish with prominent black bar across head and down the cheeks. Triangular black harness-like set of bars converge on the sides and the back from the first dorsal origin, pectoral and pelvic fin bases. A horizontal black stripe occurs on the sides of back and tail.

 Distribution

Western South Pacific: Australia (southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South and Western Australia), possibly New Zealand.

 Biology

A nocturnal bottom-living shark of the continental shelves. Lives close inshore (intertidal) down to at least 170 m. This species prefers caves with sandy floors as resting places (including open trenches of shallow rocky reefs). In these resting places up to 16 sharks have been found. Homing to these places may be possible.

 Feeding

Feeds primarily on invertebrates (benthic), with the echinoderms (sea urchins) as the most important ones.

 Size

Maximum size about 165 cm, average size between 100 to 120 cm.

 Reproduction

Oviparous (egg laying), with seasonal breeding. Egg cases are simply built, flat, broad paired spiral flanges, which are diagonal to egg axis (4 to 5 turns visible on sides). Very short tendrils on egg apex. Egg cases are simply built, flat, broad paired spiral flanges, which are diagonal to egg axis (3 turns visible on sides). Very short tendrils on egg apex. Females lay between 10 and 16 eggs, commonly 10 to 12, in rock crevices on shallow reefs. Young hatch after 9 to 12 months, and then move into nursery areas (bays and estuaries). Hatching size around 23 cm. Males reach sexual maturity between 50 and 80 cm, females with 70 and 80 cm.

 Similar Species

Color pattern of this species is very distinctive.

 Endangerment

Status in the IUCN Red List:


No Entry found in Red List.


 Danger to Humans

Harmless.



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