Tiger catshark Halaelurus natalensis, copyright S. du Preez.

Belongs within: Carcharhiniformes.

Halaelurus is an Indo-Pacific genus of catsharks with a relatively short snout and caudal fin (Compagno 1984).

Characters (from Compagno 1984): Body not tadpole-shaped, slender to moderately stout and cylindrical or fusiform, tapering slightly or moderately to caudal fin; body firm and thick-skinned, with dermal denticles well-calcified or weakly so; stomach not inflatable; tail fairly short to rather long, length from vent to lower caudal origin about 2/5 of total length, to about equal to snout-vent length. Head moderately to considerably depressed, narrowly rounded to wedge-shaped in lateral view; head short to moderately long, between 1/4 and 1/5 to less than 1/5 of total length in adults; snout short to moderately long, less than 4/5 of mouth width, thick and slightly flattened, bluntly to narrowly pointed in lateral view; snout not expanded laterally, rounded, parabolic, pointed, or somewhat bell-shaped in dorsoventral view; ampullal pores not greatly enlarged on snout; nostrils of moderate size, with incurrent and excurrent apertures only partly open to exterior; anterior nasal flaps broadly triangular, narrow and elongated, or reduced and pointed, without barbels, well separate from each other and falling slightly to considerably anterior to mouth; internarial space about 0.6 to 1.1 times nostril width; no nasoral grooves; eyes dorsolateral on head, broad subocular ridges present below eyes; mouth angular, semiangular, or rounded, short to moderately long, with lower symphysis well behind upper so that upper teeth are exposed in ventral view; labial furrows present along both upper and lower jaws, these short to very short and occasionally absent, ending well behind level of upper symphysis of mouth when present; bronchial region not greatly enlarged distance from spiracles to fifth gill slits 1/3 to slightly less than 3/5 of head length; gill slits lateral or dorsolateral on head. Two dorsal fins present, about equal-sized or with the second slightly smaller or larger than first; origin of first dorsal varying from slightly in front of the pelvic midbases to about over their insertions; origin of second dorsal varies from slightly in front of anal midbase to about over anal insertion; pectoral fins moderately large, their width subequal to or somewhat greater than mouth width; inner margins of pelvic fins not fused over claspers in adult males; claspers moderately long, fairly slender to moderately stout, and distally pointed, extending about half of their lengths behind the pelvic fin tips; anal fin moderately large but not greatly elongated, about as large as pelvic fins or slightly smaller or larger, subequal to or larger than the dorsals, its base length subequal to about twice the second dorsal base; origin of anal well behind pelvic bases, and insertion separated from lower caudal origin by a narrow to very broad space less than a fourth to over the length of the anal base; caudal fin short and broad to narrow and moderately elongated, between 1/4 and 1/5 to less than 1/5 of total length in adults; no crests of denticles on the caudal margins. Supraorbital crests absent from cranium. Colour light grey or brown to blackish without markings, or variably patterned with dark spots, saddles and vertical bars.

<==Halaelurus Gill 1862 [incl. Gammascyllium Leigh-Sharpe 1926]C84
|--*H. buergeri (Müller & Henle 1838) [=Scyllium buergeri, H. burgeri]C84
|--H. alcocki Garman 1913 (n. d.)C84
|--H. boesemani Springer & D’Aubrey 1972C84
|--H. canescens (Günther 1878) [=Scyllium canescens]C84
|--H. dawsoni Springer 1971C84
|--H. hispidus (Alcock 1891) [=Scyllium hispidum]C84
|--H. immaculatus Chu & Meng 1982C84
|--H. lineatus Bass, D’Aubrey & Kistnasamy 1975C84
|--H. lutarius Springer & D’Aubrey 1972C84
|--H. natalensis (Regan 1904) [=Scyllium natalense]C84
`--H. quagga (Alcock 1899) [=Scyllium quagga]C84

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C84] Compagno, L. J. V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue vol. 4. Sharks of the World: An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 2—Carcharhiniformes. United Nations Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Rome.

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