Cape elephantfish

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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]


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]


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


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]


  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