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Species: Galeus arae, Marbled Cat Shark, Roughtail Cat Shark

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3-6 dark, pale edged saddles behind D1
2 rows round blotches: eye to A
C with 2 dark bars
denticle crests: only top edge of C
A base < 14% TL

Galeus arae (Nichols, 1927)

Marbled Cat Shark, Roughtail Cat Shark

Body slender, firm, thick skin; head slightly depressed; snout = / < than mouth width, thick, not flattened, pointed, relatively short, 5-7% TL before mouth; no crests on skull over eyes; ridge under eye narrow to absent; nasal flaps broad, triangular, low, without barbels; no grooves from nostrils to mouth; mouth short, broadly arched; central teeth with long, narrow central cusp & a smaller cusp on each side; side teeth with smaller central cusp, 2-3 pairs of side cusps; lip furrows on both jaws, moderately long, but ending well short of front of mouth; eyes on sides of head; dorsal fins 2, equal sized; origin of 1st dorsal over front 1/3 of pelvic base; origin of 2nd dorsal over to slightly behind center of anal fin base; pectorals relatively large; anal fin large, elongate, relatively short, its base 8.7-13.6% TL, its origin behind tip of 1st dorsal fin, its free rear tip ends well before (by distance > / = length of eye) lower tail fin origin; tail fin elongate, ~1/4 TL; top edge of tail fin with a crest of various rows of enlarged denticles, top of crest flattened, side-row denticles asymmetrical (& much larger than those in center-rows), project laterally, covering a band of naked skin separating crest from normal denticles on rest of tail; under tail base without a denticle crest.

Body with 3-6 dark, pale-edged saddles behind 1st dorsal, 2 extending onto the front ½ of the dorsal fins; upper side from behind eye to above anal fin with row of oval to round pale-edged dark blotches, another shorter row below that; tips of dorsal and tail fins white; upper lobe of tail fin with ~2 broad dark bars

Reaches 33 cm

On and near the bottom

Depth range 250-780 m.

The Carolinas to Colombia; northern Cuba and the western Bahamas.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 33
Depth Range Min
  • 250
Depth Range Max
  • 780