Leopard Catshark

Leopard Catshark

Poroderma pantherinum

The leopard catshark is endemic to South Africa. There are thought to be several separate populations of the species located along the coastline from just west of Cape Town to Durban. This diminutive shark is found exclusively in inshore

waters up to 50 metres deep, and favours rocky reefs, kelp forests and sandy tidal zones. Leopard catsharks lay two egg cases at a time, and are thought to live to at least 15 years. They feed on small bony fish, octopus and crustaceans, and can grow to a maximum size of 84 centimetres. Most individuals are easily identified by their leopard-like black rosettes, arranged in horizontal lines on a whitish grey background. One colour morph has large, dark spots and was previously thought to be a separate species.

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