Cephaloscyllium umbratile

Schaaf-Da, Jayna A. & Ebert, David A., 2008, A revision of the western North Pacific swellsharks, genus Cephaloscyllium Gill 1862 (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae), including descriptions of two new species, Zootaxa 1872, pp. 1-28: 15-21

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http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.183986



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Cephaloscyllium umbratile


Cephaloscyllium umbratile   ( Jordan & Fowler 1903)

( Fig. 12 View FIGURE 12 , 5 View FIGURE 5 d, 7 d, 10 c; Table 2 View TABLE 2 )

Scyllium laticeps Nystrom 1887: 49   ; Ishikawa & Matsuura 1897: 62.

Cephaloscyllium umbratile   ( Jordan & Fowler 1903): 602, Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ; Garman 1913: 80; Fowler 1914: 32; Chen 1963: 29, Fig. 9 View FIGURE 9 ; Lindberg & Legeza 1959: 44, Fig. 24; Chan 1966: 229, Figs. 4 View FIGURE 4 , 5 View FIGURE 5 , 7 View FIGURE 7 b, 7 d, pl. II; Bessednov 1969: 27, Figs. 9 View FIGURE 9 , 10 View FIGURE 10 ; Compagno et al. 2005 a: 218, pl. 36.

Scyliorhinus umbratilis Regan 1908: 459   .

Cephaloscyllium formosanum Teng 1962: 48   , Fig. 11 View FIGURE 11 .

Cephaloscyllium isabellum   (in part as western North Pacific “ umbratile   ”) Compagno 1984: 298.

Type Series and Locality. Holotype, SU 12693, mature male, 975 mm TL, collected from Nagasaki, Japan, 32 ° 43 'N, 129 ° 50 'E, collected by M. Yahiro, stuffed skin.

Diagnosis. Body comparatively stocky, head short, a large species of Cephaloscyllium   . Snout broad and relatively long; anterior nasal flaps not overlapping mouth posteriorly. Mouth broad and strongly arched. First dorsal-fin origin behind half of pelvic-fin base; first dorsal-fin base usually less than interdorsal space, especially in larger specimens; anal–caudal space and dorsal–caudal space relatively long. Light crème to beige background with brown, dark grey, and/or tan spots ventrally, laterally, and on fins; seven broad tan dorsal saddles, three of which are on the head; saddles apparent in juveniles but mottled to the point of obscurity in adults.

Description. Body fusiform, relatively stout; head long 21.3 % TL, depressed, height 0.89 times width. Snout relatively long, flattened; preorbital length 0.29 times in head length and 0.70 times interorbital width; narrowly rounded in lateral view; width broad, 0.43 times head length; horizontal length 1.46 in eye length. Eye small, its horizontal length 7.61 in head; 2.0 times height; cat-like; nearer tip of snout than first gill opening. Spiracle very small and circular, its maximum diameter 7.0 in eye length; close behind eye. Gill openings large, subequal in size; becoming progressively smaller posteriorly; height of first gill slit 0.10 in head length. Mouth broad, strongly arched; half as long as wide, width 1.18 in preoral length; labial furrows absent. Nasals very large, nearer tip of snout than eye, not confluent with mouth; anterior nasal flaps not extending to the mouth; not elongate nor not bell-shaped; only slightly oblique; nostril width about equal to internarial distance. First dorsal fin large, much larger than second dorsal fin; placed far back on the body; slightly rounded; posterior margin slightly convex, length 8.9 % TL; first dorsal-fin origin just posterior to pelvic-fin insertion; first dorsal-fin insertion well forward of anal-fin origin; first dorsal-fin length 0.75 in second dorsal fin; first dorsal-fin height 0.38 in second dorsal fin. Second dorsal fin relatively small; nearer first dorsal than base of caudal lobe; upright, lobate, or convex posterior margin; short free rear tip; fin origin just behind anal-fin origin; interdorsal space 0.96 in length from snout tip to pectoral-fin origin. Pectorals large; as broad as long; angles rounded; anterior-margin length 0.58 times head length; pectoral-fin base 0.64 in anterior-margin length. Pelvic fin small, length 0.11 times precaudal length; base 0.69 in length. Anal fin nearly as large as first dorsal; much larger than second dorsal; length 0.10 times precaudal length; second dorsal-fin height 0.44 in anal-fin height. Caudal fin large, asymmetrical, broad, longer than head; subterminal notch present; ventral lobe much larger in area than dorsal lobe; ventral-lobe length 0.39 in dorsal-lobe length; caudal peduncle relatively long, its length 6.8 % TL.

Body firm, thick-skinned, with well-calcified dermal denticles; surpaorbital crest of the chondrocranium present. Teeth similar in upper and lower jaws; small and numerous; multicuspid in 2–3 series, each with a long median cusp flanked by one lateral cusplet, less than one half the length of median cusp, cusps conical at the apex, striate near the bases. Upper jaw tooth count, 59; lower jaw tooth count, 62. Vertebral counts based on a 193 mm specimen ( CAS 224880) are: total vertebral number 129, monospondylous 47, precaudal 81, and pre-caudal diplospondylous 34.

Size and sexual maturity. According to the literature and specimens studied, males mature at about 947– 948 mm TL and females 948–1011 mm TL; maximum length at least 1200 mm for males and 1100 mm for females ( Compagno et al. 2005 a).

Coloration. In life lightly pigmented background color, from crème to light-beige; pale below; dark-grey, tan, and deep brown mottling dorsally and laterally, and on fins; spotting and mottling simple in juveniles and intense in adults, possibly obscuring the dorsal saddles; the dorsum, lateral surfaces, and ventrum have no obvious boundaries; the ventral surface has much fewer markings. Seven dorsal bands in younger specimens which seem to fade in adulthood; the first behind eye, second over base of pectoral, next between it and first dorsal where another is, and finally last at second dorsal; two broad cross bars on caudal, one at base of caudal, the other near its tip.

Comparison with other species. Cephaloscyllium umbratile   , formerly synonymized with C. isabellum   , is upheld as a valid species based on the combination of a few key characters. Cephaloscyllium umbratile   is not a dwarf species of swellshark. Hence, maximum size differences allow it to be distinguished from C. circulopullum   , C. fasciatum   , and C. sarawakensis   .

The color pattern of C. umbratile   can be used to for field identification; it has seven distinct dorsal bands that are usually deep-brown in life, three of which are pre-first dorsal fin. However, taxonomy should not be based on these bands alone, as they become obscure in adulthood. We disagree with Yano et al. (2005) concerning the dark lateral blotch in this species. Although adult C. umbratile   may appear to have a dark lateral blotch between the paired fins due to intense mottling, there is no such blotch in younger, smaller specimens. Since young C. umbratile   lack a dark lateral blotch, it can be easily distinguished from C. circulopullum   and C. sarawakensis   .

Additionally, a few characters can be used to separate this swellshark from other large-sized species, specifically C. isabellum   . The first dorsal-fin base of C. umbratile   is relatively short ( Fig. 13 View FIGURE 13 ) in proportion to TL. The length of the first dorsal base of C. umbratile   remains at a constant proportion to TL compared to C. isabellum   . Cephaloscyllium isabellum   has a dorsal-fin base that increase slightly with increased TL.

The anal–caudal space tends to be greater in C. umbratile   than in C. isabellum   ( Fig. 14 View FIGURE 14 ). In these two specimens, the anal–caudal space is 5.5 –7.0% TL, and 4.3–5.4 % TL respectively. The caudal peduncle length increases with TL in C. umbratile   , whereas in C. isabellum   , it stays proportional to TL. The dorsal–caudal space is generally greater in C. umbratile   than in C. isabellum   ; this measurement ranges from 6.2–8.5 % TL ( Fig. 15 View FIGURE 15 ). By comparison, this measurement of C. isabellum   ranges from 4.3–5.8 %.

Remarks. The Japanese swellshark was originally described from a 975 mm specimen; a stuffed skin that apparently went missing. Springer (1979) synonymized C. umbratile   with C. isabellum   , based on the lack of strong morphometric differences. However, in his report he measured only 12 specimens and it is unclear how many were C. umbratile   , and how many were C. isabellum   . Because it was lost Springer did not view the C. umbratile   holotype specimen, which is the only type material catalogued for this species. Springer published morphometric values for three C. isabellum   specimens that are included in this report; but no data on the C. umbratile   specimens. Consequently, it is unknown what he meant by “inconclusive morphometric differences” ( Springer 1979). The redescription of C. umbratile   is based on the holotype specimen, that was subsequently found, and morphometric data are presented in Table 2 View TABLE 2 .

Compagno (1984) reported that C. umbratile   is a synonym of C. isabellum   , but he suggested three types of this species: a true C. isabellum   type, a true C. umbratile   type, and a pseudo- umbratile   type. Currently, it is understood that the true C. isabellum   type refers to the Australian species, and the true C. umbratile   type refers to the Japanese species. It has been established that the specimens Compagno refers to as pseudoumbratile from Hong Kong are actually C. sarawakensis   (L.J.V. Compagno, pers. comm.).

Distribution. Cephaloscyllium umbratile   occurs in the western North Pacific, including Taiwan, Japan, and the China Sea ( Compagno et al. 2005 a).

Etymology. The species was named after the Latin umbra for shaded.

Common name. Japanese swellshark.

TABLE 2. Morphometric and meristic data for the holotype (HT) specimen for Cephaloscyllium umbratile (SU 12693), including mean and range for the C. umbratile specimens available, and Cephaloscyllium fasciatum (BMNH 1965.8.11.1), plus the paratype (PT) specimen for C. fasciatum (BMNH 1965.8.11.5), and one available specimen (SU 34041). TL is the actual measurement in millimeters; all other measurements are expressed as percentage of TL. Abbreviations as in Table 1.

C. umbratile   C. umbratile   C. fasciatum   C. fasciatum   C. fasciatum  
HT Comparative Material HT PT Comparative Material
SU 12693 (n=18) BMNH BMNH SU 34041
Measurement Mean Min Max 1965.8.11.1 1965.8.11.5  
TL 975 360 178 1015 421 224 111
PCL 81.6 76.3 72.0 80.8 78.4 74.1 73.9
PD2 69.9 63.1 59.3 70.0 67.6 60.1 61.8
PD1 56.4 49.0 45.3 56.1 53.2 45.8 49.2

California Academy of Sciences














Cephaloscyllium umbratile

Schaaf-Da, Jayna A. & Ebert, David A. 2008

Cephaloscyllium isabellum

Compagno 1984: 298

Cephaloscyllium formosanum

Teng 1962: 48

Cephaloscyllium umbratile

Compagno 2005: 218
Bessednov 1969: 27
Chan 1966: 229
Chen 1963: 29
Lindberg 1959: 44
Fowler 1914: 32
Garman 1913: 80

Scyliorhinus umbratilis

Regan 1908: 459

Scyllium laticeps

Ishikawa 1897: 62
Nystrom 1887: 49