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Galapagos Bullhead Shark Pictures
Shark Pictures Database
bullhead shark, Galapagos horn
shark, Peruvian horn shark.
Name: Heterodontus quoyi
Grey/brown body with bold black spots. Spots roughly eye sized or
smaller. Spots smaller and less distinct in juveniles. Large, blocky head. Dorsal
fin spines short. First dorsal set relatively far back on body; origin level
with trailing edge of pectoral fin. Pectoral fins large. Upper caudal lobe has
rounded tip. Supraorbital
crests (brow bones) relatively low. Jaw contains
anterior, pointed, clutching teeth and rear
and coral reefs. Rests on reef slopes, ledges and under overhangs on vertical walls at depths of 3 to 30m.
Eastern South Pacific.
Galapagos Islands and Coastal Peru.
Described as nocturnal
but seen by divers free swimming along reef slopes during the day.
Diet: Known to feed on crustaceans.
Lays distinctive auger shaped egg cases.
Listed as DATA DEFICIENT by the IUCN but the Galapagos bullhead shark's
make it vulnerable. It is protected in the Galapagos Marine Reserve where it is
not common and has an apparent limited distribution in suitable habitat (Rivera,
unpublished data). While not presently fished in the Galapagos the apparent
limited population size places this possible subpopulation of the species in a
vulnerable position if it began to be captured here. This species is not of
interest in commercial fisheries, but is presumably taken as bycatch by inshore
fisheries elsewhere in its known range; however, little information is
available. Research is required (taxonomy, ecology, bycatch, habitat) to
accurately assess its conservation status.
Punta Vicente, west
coast of Isabella Island, Galapagos Archipelago.
species: The Galapagos bull head shark's range
overlap with the Mexican
bullhead shark - Heterodontus mexicanus.
The latter species is known to occur at least as far south as Columbia and
likely occurs in Ecuador and Peru. It can be distinguished by having fewer and
larger spots, a more prominent brow and smaller dorsal fins.
approached. Remains motionless unless molested. The Galapagos bullhead shark is
a slow swimmer that can be followed and observed quite easily.
logistics: Most easily observed on the northwest
corner of Isabella Island and around Fernandina Island; both in a remote region
in the southwestern Galapagos. This area can only be accessed by liveaboard dive
boat from San Cristobal. Numerous liveaboards operate in the Galapagos but pay
attention to the itinerary as not all of them visit Fernandina.
Big Fish Expeditions runs a bi-annual
shark diving trip to the
Galapagos that always includes this area as part of their
Kyne, P.M., Rivera, F. & Leandro, L. 2004. Heterodontus
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004:e.T44579A10907948. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T44579A10907948.en. Downloaded