Scientific name..............Poroderma Africanum
Other common names.........Pyjama shark
The Striped catshark is easily recognized by its pattern of solid
horizontal stripes. Like the other two species that belong to the
genus Poroderma, it has a stout, well-tapered body and a relatively
short tail fin. They have a broad, flat head region with a blunt
snout. It also has barbels on the middle fold of the nasal flap,
which extend back toward the front of the mouth. There barbels are
short and usually end before the mouth. Except for the broad,
rounded pectorals, the fins are not large. The dorsal fins, however,
are distinctive as they are very closely spaced and occur well
towards the tail. The first dorsal originates behind the level of
the pelvic fin axils. Although patterns and colours vary with age
and locality, all Poroderma species have body markings based on
seven longitudinal stripes, one extending along the centre of the
back and three paralles stripes on either side.
These sharks can attain a length of 3.1 feet. Males mature at 22.8
to 29.9 inches and female mature at 25.5 to 28.3 inches. At birth
these sharks measure 6 inches long.
The color of the striped catshark is a creamy-brown with darker or
almost black stripes which become broken towards the tail and lower
sides. In adults these stripes may have lighter centres. Pale color
Striped catsharks are nocturnal, so they are active at night and
they move about the bottom in search of food. Its diet is quite
varied and includes small bottom-dwelling crustaceans, such as
shrimp and crabs, small bony fishes, cephalopods, and mollusks.
Nocturnal, sometimes day-active.
Eastern South Atlantic, western Indian Ocean off South Africa,
possibly Madagascar and Mauritius. The striped catshark inhabits
temperate coastal waters, and is common on shallow inshore rocky
reefs as well as in deeper waters to about 330 feet. This shark will
hide in caves or rest in reef crevices during the day.
This species is oviparous, lays pairs of egg cases ( one/oviduct ).
During the mating season, they lay two tendril-bearing egg cases
every few days. The young emerge after five to six months and are
about 6 inches long.
They are considered harmless.
Common. Hardy in captivity. Taken by trawlers and anglers.