Resurrection of the name Carcharhinus cerdale, a species different from Carcharhinus porosus

José I. Castro

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 1-10, Volume 17, Issue 1 – 15 January 2011


The smalltail shark, Carcharhinus porosus Ranzani, 1840, is a small shark that inhabits the western North Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Carcharhinus cerdale Gilbert, in Jordan and Evermann, 1898, is a small shark that inhabits the eastern Pacific from the Gulf of California to the tropics. Through a series of mistakes these two allopatric species were synonymized. Meek & Hildebrand (1923) probably committed the first error when they misidentified or assumed the origin of market specimens in Colón, Panama, and stated that C. cerdalewas found in both sides of the Isthmus of Panama. Meek & Hildebrand did not compare C. cerdale with C. porosus, and they did not synonymize the two species. Bigelow & Schroeder (1948) made the second error by stating that Meek & Hildebrand had synonymized C. cerdale and C. porosus. Their publication was so authoritative that the synonymy would not be challenged by most workers for more than 60 years, although Kato et al. (1967) were aware that C. cerdale was different from the Atlantic C. porosus. The name Carcharhinus cerdale Gilbert, in Jordan & Evermann, 1898, is resurrected here for the Pacific species.

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