Sharpfin houndshark (Triakis acutipinna)

loading
Sharpfin houndshark specimen
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Sharpfin houndshark fact file

Sharpfin houndshark description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassChondrichthyes
OrderCarcharhiniformes
FamilyTriakidae
GenusTriakis (1)

An extremely rare and poorly understood houndshark, the sharpfin houndshark (Triakis acutipinna) is named for the sharp tips of its fins, from which the scientific name of ‘acutipinna’ is defined. Although very few descriptions of living sharpfin houndsharks have been made, the colour of a preserved specimen in alcohol indicates that it is uniformly brownish-grey on upperparts, fading to a brownish-yellow underneath. The fins are slightly darker than the body with a patch of white at the tips, and the lateral line has tiny white spots (3).

A rare and elusive shark, the sharpfin houndshark has a broad head and a rounded mouth, with tiny spiracles located behind the eyes. The gill slits are slightly arched, and this shark has conspicuous pores on its long snout. Its nostrils are separated from the mouth, and the teeth have large cusps, or projections (3).

The sharpfin houndshark, as with all houndsharks, has two moderately sized spineless dorsal fins, an anal fin, and membranes over its oval eyes (4). It also has long, narrow pectoral fins, which are curved in adults (2).

Also known as
Tollo.
Spanish
Tollo del Ecuador.
Size
Maximum adult male length: 90 cm (2)
Maximum adult female length: 102 cm (2)
Top

Sharpfin houndshark biology

There is very little known about the biology and life history of the sharpfin houndshark (1). Other species in the genus Triakis are either ovoviviparous or viviparous, so it is likely that this species uses one of these reproductive strategies (3).

Species in the family Trakidae often feed primarily on invertebrates and bony fishes (4).

Top

Sharpfin houndshark range

The sharpfin houndshark is endemic to Ecuador, in the Province of Manabí in the south-eastern Pacific Ocean. Its exact distribution is unknown; however, it is estimated to inhabit an area no larger than 5,000 square kilometres (1).

Top

Sharpfin houndshark habitat

The sharpfin houndshark is found in tropical continental waters (1).

Top

Sharpfin houndshark status

The sharpfin houndshark is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

Top

Sharpfin houndshark threats

Small scale fisheries are common throughout Ecuador and sharks, including hound sharks, are often victims of bycatch. Sharks used to be specifically targeted by Ecuadorian fishing communities; however, this was banned in 2004. Nevertheless, catch statistics are poorly documented and there is inadequate monitoring of fishing activities (1).

Shark fins continued to be exported illegally from Ecuador, and so export of shark fins and meat from bycatch is now permitted as a means of monitoring shark catches. Small scale fisheries in the port of Daniel López are said to rarely catch the sharpfin houndshark; however, it is unknown how frequently it is caught at other fisheries (1).

Top

Sharpfin houndshark conservation

There is little management of fisheries in Ecuador; however, a recently introduced national action plan for the protection of sharks, which aims to reduce the numbers of sharks caught as bycatch, as well as increasing the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) off Ecuador from 13 to 15, should hopefully aid shark population recovery in this area (1) (5).

As so little is known about the sharpfin houndshark, field surveys are required to learn about its distribution and habitat, and to find out which fisheries are catching it. The rarity of this species, and its presence in exploited waters, means immediate conservation actions, such as full legal protection, may be needed to ensure this shark’s future survival (1).

Top

Find out more

More information on the sharpfin houndshark:

 Learn more about the conservation of sharks and rays: 

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

This species information was authored as part of the ARKive and Universities Scheme.
Top

Glossary

Anal fin
In fish, an unpaired fin on the under surface of the fish, behind the anus.
Bycatch
In the fishing industry, the part of the catch made up of non-target species.
Dorsal fin
The unpaired fin found on the back of the body of fish, or the raised structure on the back of most cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises).
Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Genus
A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name. Invertebrates: animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones) and echinoderms.
Invertebrates
Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones) and echinoderms.
Lateral line
A row of receptors that can detect movement via vibrations in water. The receptors are typically embedded in the skin, and in fish they form a line along the sides of the body.
Ovoviviparous
Producing young that develop inside eggs, but the eggs hatch inside the female’s body and the young are born live.
Pectoral fins
In fish, the pair of fins that are found on either side of the body just behind the gills. They are generally used for balancing and braking.
Spiracles
In sharks and some other fish, small holes behind the eye through which the fish can take in water while lying on the seabed. Water enters the spiracles and is passed out over the gill openings, bypassing the mouth.
Viviparous
Giving birth to live offspring that develop inside the mother’s body.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (October, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Marine Species Identification Portal (October, 2011)
    http://species-identification.org/index.php
  3. Kato, S. (1968) Triakis acutipinna (Galeoidea, Triakidae), a new species of shark from Ecuador. Copeia, 1968(2): 319-325.
  4. Fishbase (October, 2011)
    http://www.fishbase.org/
  5. Inter-American Development Bank (November, 2011)
    http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news,2359.html
X
Close

Image credit

Sharpfin houndshark specimen  
Sharpfin houndshark specimen

© Philippe Béarez

Philippe Béarez
Chargé de Recherche au CNRS
Muséum national d'histoire naturelle
Département "Écologie et gestion de la biodiversité"
USM 303/UMR 7209, "Archéozoologie, archéobotanique : sociétés,
pratiques et environnements"
Case postale 56
55 rue Buffon
Paris cedex 05
F-75231
France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 79 37 36
Fax: +33 (0) 1 40 79 33 14
bearez@mnhn.fr
http://www2.mnhn.fr/archeozoo-archeobota/

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Sharpfin houndshark (Triakis acutipinna) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog