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 Japanese bullhead shark (Heterodontus japonicus)

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Japanese bullhead shark
No image of Japanese bullhead shark found in the Shark Database
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

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


Scientific: Heterodontus japonicus
German: Japanischer Stierkopfhai
English: Japanese bullhead shark, Horned shark
French: Requin dormeur nekozame
Spanish: Dormilon japones


Cylindrical trunk with conical head. Small spiracles behind and below the eyes. Very short snout, bluntly rounded. Supraorbital ridges low. Both dorsal fins with a stout fin spine. Origin of first dorsal fin behind midbase of pectoral fins. Origin of second dorsal fin over insertion of pelvic fins. Large pectoral fins. Anal fin present.


Light brown, with broad, dark brown saddle-marks.


Western North Pacific: Japan, Korea, northern China, Taiwan.


A common species over the continental shelf, found on or close to bottom, between 6 and 37m. Lives preferably around rocky or kelp-covered areas. This species is able to "walk" over the bottom, with its paired fins.


Feeds on crustaceans, molluscs, small fishes and sea urchins.


Maximum length about 120 cm, average size between 90 and 110 cm.


Oviparous (egg laying). 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. Several females may lay their eggs on a singular site. Females usually lay two eggs at a time. Eggs need about a year to hatch. Size at hatching about 18 cm. Males reach maturity with about 70 cm.

 Similar Species

Other bullhead sharks have a similar appearance but this species is the only on in the described area.


Status in the IUCN Red List:

No Entry found in Red List.

 Danger to Humans


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