Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Heterodontiformes
(Bullhead and horn sharks) > Heterodontidae
(Bullhead, horn, or Port Jackson sharks)
Etymology: Heterodontus: Greek, heteros = other + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 0 - 152 m (Ref. 106604), usually 2 - 11 m (Ref. 9253). Subtropical; 37°N - 15°S, 124°W - 75°W
Eastern Pacific: central California, USA to the Gulf of California, and probably Ecuador and Peru.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 59 - ? cm
Max length : 122 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 247); common length : 97.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 247); max. reported age: 12 years (Ref. 72467)
Sluggish, nocturnal, and mostly solitary species. Inhabit rocky bottoms, kelp beds, sandy draws between rocks, on sand flats, deep crevices and small caves and also large underwater caverns. Adults tend to return to the same resting place every day (Ref. 43278). Feed on benthic invertebrates, especially sea urchins, crabs and probably abalone, also fishes. Oviparous (Ref. 50449). May bite back when harassed. Has broad muscular paired fins used as limbs for clambering on the bottom. Catch reduced to fish meal; fin spines used in production of jewels.
Oviparous (Ref. 205). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205). Courtship starts when the male chases the female, then when both are ready, they drop to the bottom (Ref. 43278). During courtship and prior to copulation, the male bites and wraps its body to the female pectoral fin, body, tail, and gills (Ref. 51127, 49562). The male then inserts a single clasper in the female's cloaca; copulation lasts 30 to 40 min. After one or two weeks later, the eggs are laid in about 11 to 14 intervals for 4 months which were deposited under rocks or in crevices, as was observed in nature. In captivity, the female drops the eggs on the bottom where the contents of the egg cases maybe eaten by these sharks; the eggs are hatched in 7 to 9 months. The young begin to feed one month after hatching (Ref. 43278).
Compagno, L.J.V., 2001. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Vol. 2. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO Spec. Cat. Fish. Purp. 1(2):269 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 43278)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 15.9 - 23.7, mean 21.4 (based on 159 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5059 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00355 (0.00151 - 0.00836), b=3.16 (2.95 - 3.37), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec=20).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (74 of 100) .