Greeneye Spurdog, Squalus chloroculus Click to enlarge image
Greeneye Spurdog, Squalus chloroculus. Image: CSIRO National Fish Collection
© CC BY 3.0

Fast Facts

  • IUCN Conservation Status
    ENDANGERED (EN)
  • Classification
    Genus
    Squalus
    Species
    chloroculus
    Family
    Squalidae
    Order
    Squaliformes
    Subclass
    Elasmobranchii
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 70cm in length.

Introduction

The Greeneye Spurdog, Squalus chloroculus is a medium dogfish species native to southern Australia. The Greeneye Spurdog is a new species, recently described in 2007. It was previously considered to be part of the Squalus mitsukurii species complex.


What do Greeneye Spurdogs look like?

Identification

The Greeneye Spurdog is a medium sized dogfish with a broad pointed snout, prominent dorsal spines and a short caudal fin. It is grey on the dorsal surface and pale on the ventral surface, with a dark marginal bar above the posterior notch of the caudal fin.


Where do Greeneye Spurdogs live?

Habitat

This species primarily inhabits the upper to mid continental slope between 200 and 1360 meters deep.

Distribution

The Greeneye Spurdog is endemic to southern Australia, ranging from off Jervis Bay, New South Wales, to the Great Australian Bight, Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



What is the life cycle of Greeneye Spurdogs?

Life cycle

The Greeneye Spurdog is viviparous (live birth), with males maturing between 9-12 years of age at approximately 63 cm total length. Females reach maturity at around 16 years of age and 80cm total length, female reach a larger size than males with a maximum lifespan of 26 years estimated. The species has a slow reproductive cycle, with a gestation period estimated to be between 31 and 34 months with 4-15 pups born.


Conservation status

Primary threats

The Greeneye Spurdog is assessed as Endangered (IUCN) and faces significant threats from intensive fishing activities due to its low biological productivity, high longevity and low reproductive output. Fishing activities such as demersal trawling and automatic longlining have led to a decline in population size, particularly in New South Wales, eastern Victoria, and Tasmania.


References

  • https://fish.gov.au/docs/SharkReport/2023_FRDC_Squalus_chloroculus_final.pdf
  • AFMA (2013). Australian Fisheries Management Authority (ed & rev), Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery Management Arrangements Booklet 2013. Canberra : Australian Fisheries Management Authority. Available at http://www.afma.gov.au/wpcontent/uploads/2010/07/Final-SESSF-Management-arrangements-2013-for-print1.pdf/
  • Rochowski, B.E.A, Graham, K.J., Day, R.W. and Walker, T.I. 2015. Reproductive biology of the greeneye spurdog Squalus chloroculus (Squaliformes, Squalidae). Journal of Fish Biology 86: 734‒754.
  • Walker, T.I. & Rochowski , B.E.A. 2019. Squalus chloroculus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T161360A68644464. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T161360A68644464.en