Cirrhigaleus australis

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Cirrhigaleus australis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Squaliformes
Family: Squalidae
Genus: Cirrhigaleus
Species: C. australis
Binomial name
Cirrhigaleus australis
W. T. White, Last & Stevens, 2007[1]
Cirrhigaleus barbifer and australis distmap.png
This is the range of C. australis and C. barbifer. Australis is in light blue, and barbifer in dark blue.

Cirrhigaleus australis, also known as the Southern Mandarin Dogfish, is a species of Mandarin dogfish shark in the genus Cirrhigaleus. It was distinguished from Cirrhigaleus barbifer, which lives in the North Pacific, on an expedition in the coral reefs near Australia in 2007. It is now known to live in the temperate waters east of Australia and possibly around New Zealand, at depths of 146–640 metres.[2] [3]

Physical characteristics[edit]

C. australis is medium-sized and robust compared to other dogfish. It is grey-brown above and pale below. The posterior margins of the pectoral and pelvic fins are white.[4] This species of shark normally grow less than a metre long, but have been known to reach 1.25 metres.[2][3] C. australis has smaller eyes, pectoral fins, dorsal fins, and spine than its cousin. The first dorsal fin is medium-sized and slightly raked. The second is similarly shaped, but a bit smaller. The pectoral fins are fairly large. Both dorsal spines are long. It also has strangely long barbels, giving it the name "Mandarin". There are about 115 centra along the back.[5]

Scientists say the shark is harmless. Its defensive techniques are useless against many larger fish, and, as a consequence, it is very vulnerable to other sharks and fish. Also, C. australis has very low resilience, its population doubling only about every 14 years.[5]


In 2007, a group of scientists from CSIRO spent some time searching the Eastern coast of Australia for new species.[1] Along with the newly distinguished Cirrhigaleus australis, several hundreds of new marine species were discovered. Included were skates, sea stars, corals, bivalves, brachiopods, several types of marine arthropods, and many others.[6]

They conducted research in three outings, each three weeks long. Two outings were in the Great Barrier Reef on Lizard Island and Heron Island, and the third was in the Ningaloo Reef on the northwest coast of Australia.[7] In the Ningaloo Reef, many species were discovered, but no specimens of Cirrhigaleus australis were found. The expedition was a great success, and Australia now has more information on the marine flora and fauna that dominate their coral reefs.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cirrhigaleus australis, New species of mandarin dogfish". Zootaxa. Retrieved on 2008-10-14.
  2. ^ a b "New Shark Discovered!". CryptoMundo. Retrieved on 2008-10-16.
  3. ^ a b "New Mandarin shark Discovered". Practical Fishkeeping. Retrieved on 1008-10-17.
  4. ^ "Southern Mandarin Dogfish". Australian Museum. Retrieved on 2008-12-01.
  5. ^ a b "Cirrhigaleus australis Southern Mandarin Dogfish". FishBase. Retrieved on 2008-10-14.
  6. ^ "Marine voyages discover hundreds of new species in the Southern Ocean". CSIRO. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.
  7. ^ "Hundreds of new animal species discovered". MSNBC. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.

External links[edit]

Note: When this species becomes widely known by its common name, the Southern Mandarin Dogfish, change page title and bold italic to its common name.

Note: When a picture of C. barbifer or C. australis appears in Commons, change the current picture.