Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Heterodontus quoyi, Galapagos bullhead shark

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low crest over eye
body spots > 1/2 eye
no light bar between eyes
D1 origin behind pectoral base, over internal margin

Heterodontus quoyi (Fréminville, 1840)

Galapagos bullhead shark

A slender-bodied shark with a large squarish pig-lke snout; low bony ridge above each eye ends gradually at rear; nostrils without barbels, with grooves around nostrils and connected to the mouth; anterior nasal flaps elongate posteriorly; small mouth; front teeth with 3 similar sized points, enlarged molariform teeth posteriorly; both dorsal fins with a sharp spine; origin of first dorsal fin behind pectoral fin base, over inner fin margin.

Grey or light brown with large (> ½ eye diameter) blackish leopard-like spotting; no pale bar between eyes; dark spots or blotches under eye; a series of diffuse dark grey bars may be present across back and sides.

Size: reaches 107 cm.

Habitat: often seen resting on sand adjacent to rocky reefs.

Depth: 3-40 m.

The Galapagos Islands and Colombia to Peru.

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Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
  • Benthic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Peruvian province, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 107
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 40