Art. XVIII.—On the Occurrence of the Spinous Shark (Echinorhinus spinosus) in New Zealand Waters.
[Read before the Otago Institute, 10th July, 1883.]
This species is stated by Günther* to be confined to the Mediterranean and Atlantic, extending from the coast of England to the Cape of Good Hope. I believe the present specimen to be the first which has been recorded beyond the usual range. It was caught off Dunedin by fishermen in the employment of the Deep Sea Fishing Company during the present month (July).
The fish, which was quite new to the captors, was cut up for bait, only the mutilated remains being brought to Dunedin. Fortunately the teeth were preserved, and the tail was hardly at all injured, so that there was no difficulty in identifying the species.
Echinorhinus belongs to the family Spinacidæ. I extract the following generic and specific characters from the “Catalogue of Fishes”:—
“Two very small dorsal fins, without spine, the first opposite to the ventrals; no anal fin. Skin with scattered large round tubercles. Mouth crescent-shaped, a labial fold round the angle of the mouth. Nostrils midway between the mouth and the end of the snout. Teeth equal in both
[Footnote] * “Catalogue of Fishes,” vol. viii., p. 428.
jaws, very oblique, the points being turned outwards; several strong denticulations on each side of the principal point. No membrana nictitans. Spiracles small; gill-openings of moderate width.
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“Spiracles behind the eye, behind the vertical from the angle of the mouth. Teeth 22–26/22–26. Dorsal fins close together. Each tubercle with a small spine in the centre. Brownish-violet, with or without dark spots.”