TAXONOMY

 CLASS    Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)

 ORDER   Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks)

 FAMILY   Triakidae (Houndsharks)

 GENUS/SPECIES   Triakis semifasciata 

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

The snout is short and broadly rounded. The first dorsal fin is moderately large and its origin is over the pectoral fins inner margins. Second dorsal fin is nearly as large as the first one.  The anal fin much smaller than the second dorsal fin and the pectoral fins are broadly triangular.  T. semifasciata has a grey to bronze-grey upper body with dark saddles and dots and a light ventral (bottom) surface.  Max length : 198 cm or 78 in. 

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT

Common from Oregon state to Baja California,Mexico.  Prefers sandy and rock-strewn substrate near rocky reefs. Most commonly in enclosed muddy bays, including estuaries and lagoons, typically at less than 3.7 m or 13 ft depth, but ranges to 91m or 300 ft.

 

DIET IN WILD

Fishes (especially northern midshipman, sanddab, shiner perch, bat rays and smoothhounds), siphons of clams, crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp. Feeds heavily on fish eggs (herring, jacksmelt and topsmelt) attached to rocks and plants.

 

REPRODUCTION

 Ovoviviparous. Litters 4–29. Young average 21 cm or 8 in at birth.

 

PREDATORS

 Can live to at least 30 years. Part of the commercial shark fishery and very popular as a sport “fish.” Preyed upon by other sharks.

 

REMARKS

In San Francisco Bay, leopard sharks tend to remain in the Bay throughout the year, with some emigration during fall and winter.

Fossils of leopard sharks have been discovered in deposits dated to more than 1,000,000 years old in southern California.


 

LOCATION: California Rocky  CC06


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