Dusky Snout Catshark (Bythaelurus naylori) – A new species from the southwestern Indian Ocean

paperPublished online in June 2015

A new species of deep-sea catshark (Scyliorhinidae: Bythaelurus) from the southwestern Indian Ocean

D.A. Ebert, P.J. Clerkin


Bythaelurus naylori sp. n. is described based on 41 specimens collected from seamounts in the southwestern Indian Ocean. The new species can be separated from all other Bythaelurus species by a combination of distinctly enlarged dermal denticles on the upper caudal-fin margin, lack of papillae on the roof of the mouth and tongue, an anal-fin base length equal to or less than 1.5 times second dorsal-fin base length, and a uniformly plain medium to dark brown body coloration, with light fin edges and a distinct dark dusky-colored snout. No other Bythaelurus species has the combination of a caudal crest of prominent, distinctly enlarged, comb-like dermal denticles along the upper caudal margin and lacks oral papillae. Bythaelurus naylori sp. n. can be distinguished from its two closest congeners, B. giddingsi and B. lutarius, by a combination of prominent comb-like dermal denticles along the upper caudal-fin margin, absence of oral papillae, uniform body coloration, and noticeable dark dusky snout; Bythaelurus giddingsi has oral papillae present and a variegated color pattern, while B. lutarius lacks a caudal crest of enlarged denticles and matures at a much smaller size than the new species.

Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, Vol 15: 53-63



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