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Zoology Publications from Victoria University of Wellington—Nos. 54 to 57



This account records two specimens of the rare spiny dogfish, Cirrhigaleus barbifer Tanaka, 1912, from New Zealand waters. The first of these specimens, a female of 922 mm total length, was long-lined in about 360 metres (about 200 fathoms) between Mayor Island and White Island in the Bay of Plenty during September, 1969, by Mr. Goldie Hitching on the commercial fishing vessel "Fair Isle". Mr. Hitching recognised the fish as unique, and sent it, via the New Zealand Marine Department, to Wellington for identification. The second specimen, a female of 1082 mm total length, was taken in similar circumstances a year later. It was long-lined in about 440 metres (about 240 fathoms), 10 miles off Mayor Island, on September 22, 1970, by Mr. J. I. Phillips on the fishing vessel "Moana". Both specimens are now deposited in the Dominion Museum, Wellington, where they bear the registration numbers 5105 and 5163 respectively.

These two specimens are the largest so far recorded, and the only ones known outside Japanese waters. They therefore provide a considerable range extension for the species, though it should be noted that they were taken in a latitude (c. 37°) south of the Equator comparable to that north for the Japanese specimens. Literature accounts of Cirrhigaleus barbifer refer only to the two other specimens mentioned below. However, Dr. T. Abe (pers. comm.) of Tokyo, Japan, informs us that he is aware of three other Japanese specimens (about 1000 mm long, taken near Hachijo Island, south of Tokyo), and Mr. Leonard Compagno (pers. comm.) of Stanford University, California, notes that in the fish collection of that institution there is another specimen (SU 14171, female, 840 mm, Sagami Sea, Japan) which apparently has not been reported in the literature.