Southern sleeper shark
|Southern sleeper shark|
|Range of the southern sleeper shark (in blue)|
The southern sleeper shark or Whitley's sleeper shark, Somniosus antarcticus, is a deepwater benthopelagic sleeper shark of the family Somniosidae found in the southern Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. It is known from depths of 400 to 1,100 m. Its length is up to 4.4 m (14 ft). It feeds primarily on cephalopods, especially the colossal squid, and fish; its stomach contents also less commonly contain remains of marine mammals and birds. Based on its generally sluggish nature and the speed of its prey, it is thought to be an ambush predator. A 3.6 m (12 ft) female caught off the coast of Chile had a whole southern right whale dolphin in its stomach. This dogfish is sometimes taken as bycatch in the orange roughy and Patagonian toothfish fisheries; whether this poses a threat to the species is currently unknown.
This fish was formerly sometimes viewed as conspecific with either the Greenland shark, Somniosus microcephalus, or the Pacific sleeper shark, Somniosus pacifius. However, it was shown in 2004 to be a distinct species.
- Stevens, J. (2003). "Somniosus antarcticus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Somniosus antarcticus" in FishBase. February 2012 version.
- Yano, K.; Stevens, J. D.; Compagno, L. J. V. (December 2004). "A review of the systematics of the sleeper shark genus Somniosus with redescriptions of Somniosus (Somniosus) antarcticus and Somniosus (Rhinoscymnus) longus (Squaliformes: Somniosidae)". Ichthyological Research (Springer) 51 (4): 360–373. doi:10.1007/s10228-004-0244-4. Retrieved 2012-02-15.