Yellow/tan body with ten dark
saddles with white/pale borders and reddish brown centers. Second saddle (behind
eyes) is not joined at the top. No spots.
Head broad. Snout slightly upturned. Eyes raised slightly above head.
Maximum 50cm. At maturity: males 35-45cm, females 37-50cm.
bays sometimes adjacent to reefs. Surf line to 114m.
South Africa. False Bay eastwards to Southern Mozambique.
Diet and Behavior: Predominately
fishes. The tiger catshark's diet also includes crustaceans, polychaete worms,
cephalopods and small elasmobranchs.
Oviparous. Upto 9 egg cases per oviduct. Egg cases laid when embryos are close
Conservation Concerns: Listed by the IUCN as 'Data Deficient'. Although
it is not a targeted species, it is caught by bottom trawlers as discarded
bycatch and also taken by sports anglers with rod and reel. Insufficient
information available to assess this species beyond Data Deficient and
monitoring of abundance and changes in fishing pressure is required.
Citation: Robinson, L. 2004. Halaelurus natalensis. The IUCN Red
List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>
Filmed off Millers Point in False Bay, South Africa.
In the western part of its range, the tiger catshark is sometimes mistaken for
the puffadder shyshark. The puffadder has a
vaguely similar colouration but between its saddles it has many tiny spots.
In the eastern part of the tiger catshark's range it is often confused with the
lined catshark Halaelurus lineatus. This species is almost identical in shape
but has less distinct saddles that fade out at the bottom and a covering of fine
Reaction to divers:
May be quite curious around spearfishing activities but otherwise generally
quite shy but appoachable.
Tiger catsharks are rarely seen by divers. In Cape Town this shark is
occasionally seen by divers swimming over sand. One documented case of a tiger
catshark showing up at a catshark feed near Miller Point in False Bay. This
shark is probably more common at dive sites further east. If you see this shark
please let us know at Elasmodiver.
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