Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Scyliorhinus boa, Boa catshark, Boa Cat Shark

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saddles & blotches outlined by black dots
few/no white spots
D2 < D1

Scyliorhinus boa Goode & Bean, 1896

Boa catshark

Head and body relatively deep, fairly slender, tapering to tail fin; head slightly depressed, rounded in profile; a crest over eye; eye a horizontal oval; snout short; front nostril flap without barbel; lip furrows on lower jaws only; teeth similar on both jaws, most with 5 points, center point longest (2X length of side points in central teeth); 5 gill slits, last 2 over pectoral; two large dorsal fins, second much smaller than first; origin of 1st dorsal  behind pelvic base; origin of 2nd dorsal over last ½ of anal fin base; space between dorsal bases > anal fin base; pelvic and anal fins small; tail asymmetric, moderately long, its base without a keel, no crest of denticles along margins; skin denticles small, skin not very rough.

Pale brownish, with indistinct grey saddles and blotches on back and flank; head and body with numerous small (~pupil sized) black spots, often in lines, bordering (but not inside) the saddles and blotches; rarely a few white spots on upper half of body.

Reaches 54 cm

On soft and hard bottoms

Depth range 200-676 m.

Honduras & Hispaniola to Suriname.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Mud
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Benthic
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • All species..
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 54
Depth Range Min
  • 200
Depth Range Max
  • 676