Cape elephantfish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cape elephantfish
Egg case elephantfish DSF0874.jpg
the egg case of a Cape elephantfish
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Chimaeriformes
Family: Callorhinchidae
Genus: Callorhinchus
Species: C. capensis
Binomial name
Callorhinchus capensis
A. H. A. Duméril, 1865

The Cape elephantfish, josef, or St. Joseph shark (Callorhinchus capensis) is a species of fish in the Callorhinchidae family.[2]

Description[edit]

The Cape elephantfish is a smooth silvery or bronze fish which grows to 120 cm in total length, with a digging proboscis on the front of its snout. The first dorsal fin has a large venomous spine in front of it. There are darker markings on the flanks and head. At maturity, the males have a pair of calcified claspers, paired retractable prepelvic graspers, and a door-knocker-like projection (tentaculum) on their heads.[2]

Distribution[edit]

It is found off the coasts of Namibia and South Africa inshore and down to 374 m.

Ecology[edit]

The Cape elephantfish eats sea urchins, bivalves, crustaceans, gastropods, worms, and bony fish. Its predators include seals and sharks.

It is oviparous, laying two egg cases at a time. The egg case is large (about 25 cm) and spindle-shaped, with a ragged frill all around it. Females mature at 50 cm, males at 44 cm. Mating and egg laying occurs inshore.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pheeha, S. & Dagit, D.D. (2006). "Callorhinchus capensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2006: e.T60138A12311788. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Branch, G.M., Branch, M.L, Griffiths, C.L. and Beckley, L.E. 2010. Two Oceans: a guide to the marine life of southern Africa ISBN 978-1-77007-772-0