Biodiversity Data Journal : Data Paper (Biosciences)
Data Paper (Biosciences)
Updated checklist of Azores Chondrichthyes (Vertebrata: Gnathostomata)
expand article infoLuís M. D. Barcelos‡,§, José M. N. Azevedo§,|, João Pedro Barreiros‡,§
‡ Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c), Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
§ University of the Azores, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
| Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c), Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Open Access



Several lists of marine fish from Azores have been published in the past. Most of those publications are difficult to access on line and several were not published in peer-reviewed journals.

New information

This checklist updates all the chondrichthyan records for the Azores Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), according to the most recent taxonomic classification of cartilaginous fish, as well as providing information on the conservation status for all species. We also present recent literature data on rare species and recent records for Azores. This is the first comprehensive list of cartilaginous fishes from Azores to be published in the GBIF database.


cartilaginous fishes, rays, sharks, species list


Chondrichthyes are commonly known as cartilaginous fishes and includes chimeras, sharks and rays. They can be found from the cold deep-sea to subtropical and tropical waters (Greemberg 2009). Sharks and rays have a great recreational and ecological interest (Vieira et al. 2020); however, many species worldwide are declining due to global overfishing (Worm et al. 2013). The total estimation for risk extinction, according to the IUCN Red List criteria, indicates that a quarter of all shark and ray species are threatened (Dulvy et al. 2014).

The first comprehensive chondrichthyan checklist for Azores was published over 20 years ago by Santos et al. (1997). After that, some updates were made, most of them integrated in marine fish or biodiversity lists (e.g. Porteiro et al. 2010). In the meantime, new publications have emerged regarding new records (e.g. Catarino et al. 2020) or with new information on species already recorded for Azores (e.g. Das and Afonso 2017, Barcelos et al. 2018). The present work gives taxonomic updates and information regarding the conservation status (IUCN) for all chondrichthyan species from the Azores' EEZ (see Suppl. material 1). This is the first complete and updated list of chondrichthyans that can be found in the GBIF online platform (Barcelos et al. 2020).

General description


Updating Azorean biota checklists.

Project description


Azores Chondrichthyes updated checklist

Paulo Borges
Study area description: 
Azores Archipelago

Funding Institutions: Azores PO 2020 - ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072; TOTAL BUDGET: €299,901.83 EU Support: €254,916.56. This project was financed by FEDER in 85% and by Azorean Public funds by 15% through the Operational Programme Azores 2020. This work is also funded by FEDER funds through the COMPETE 2020 Programme and National Funds through FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under the Research Infrastructure PORBIOTA - Portuguese E-Infrastructure for Information and Research on Biodiversity, project number POCI-01-0145-FEDER-022127.

Geographic coverage


The Azores EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).


34 and 42.976 Latitude; -35.578 and -21 Longitude.

Taxonomic coverage


This dataset covers all the sharks, rays and chimaeras so far known to occur within the Azores' EEZ.

Taxa included:
Rank Scientific Name Common Name
kingdom Animalia
phylum Chordata
class Chondrichthyes
subclass Holocephali
subclass Elasmobranchii
superorder Holocephalimorpha
superorder Selachimorfa
superorder Batoidea
order Carcharhiniformes Ground sharks
order Chimaeriformes Chimaeras
order Hexanchiformes Frill and cow sharks
order Lamniformes Mackerel sharks
order Myliobatiformes Stingrays
order Orectolobiformes Carpet sharks
order Rajiformes Skates and rays
order Squaliformes Bramble, sleeper and dogfish sharks
order Torpediniformes Electric rays
family Rhinochimaeridae
family Chimaeridae
family Sphyrnidae
family Carcharhinidae
family Triakidae
family Pseudotriakidae
family Scyliorhinidae
family Pentanchidae
family Lamnidae
family Cetorhinidae
family Alopiidae
family Odontaspididae
family Rhincodontidae
family Dalatiidae
family Oxynotidae
family Somniosidae
family Etmopteridae
family Centrophoridae
family Hexanchidae
family Chlamydoselachidae
family Mobulidae
family Myliobatidae
family Dasyatidae
family Rajidae
family Torpedinidae
species Rhinochimaera atlantica Holt & Byrne, 1909
species Hydrolagus pallidus Hardy & Stehmann, 1990
species Hydrolagus affinis (de Brito Capello, 1868)
species Chimaera opalescens Luchetti, Iglésias & Sellos, 2011
species Chimaera monstrosa Linnaeus, 1758
species Sphyrna zygaena (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Prionace glauca (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Galeocerdo cuvier (Péron & Lesueur, 1822)
species Carcharhinus longimanus (Poey, 1861)
species Carcharhinus leucas (Valenciennes, 1839)
species Carcharhinus galapagensis (Snodgrass & Heller, 1905)
species Galeorhinus galeus (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Pseudotriakis microdon de Brito Capello, 1868
species Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Galeus murinus (Collett, 1904)
species Apristurus manis (Springer 1979)
species Apristurus laurussonii (Saemundsson, 1922)
species Lamna nasus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
species Isurus paucus Guitart Manday, 1966
species Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque, 1810
species Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Cetorhinus maximus (Gunnerus, 1765)
species Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
species Alopias superciliosus (Lowe, 1841)
species Odontaspis ferox (Risso, 1810)
species Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828
species Squaliolus laticaudus Smith & Radcliffe, 1912
species Dalatias licha (Bonnaterre, 1788)
species Oxynotus paradoxus Frade, 1929
species Zameus squamulosus (Günther, 1877)
species Somniosus rostratus (Risso, 1827)
species Somniosus microcephalus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
species Scymnodalatias garricki Kukuev & Konovalenko, 1988
species Centroselachus crepidater (Barbosa du Bocage & de Brito Capello, 1864)
species Centroscymnus owstonii Garman, 1906
species Centroscymnus coelolepis Barbosa du Bocage & de Brito Capello, 1864
species Etmopterus spinax (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Etmopterus pusillus (Lowe, 1839)
species Etmopterus princeps Collett, 1904
species Centroscyllium fabricii (Reinhardt, 1825)
species Deania profundorum (Smith & Radcliffe, 1912)
species Deania calcea (Lowe, 1839)
species Centrophorus squamosus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
species Centrophorus granulosus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
species Hexanchus griseus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
species Heptranchias perlo (Bonnaterre, 1788)
species Chlamydoselachus anguineus Garman, 1884
species Mobula tarapacana (Philippi, 1892)
species Mobula mobular (Bonnaterre, 1788)
species Mobula birostris (Walbaum, 1792)
species Myliobatis aquila (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Dasyatis pastinaca (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Pteroplatytrygon violacea (Bonaparte, 1832)
species Taeniurops grabatus (Geoffroy St. Hilaire, 1817)
species Dipturus batis (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Leucoraja fullonica (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Raja brachyura Lafont, 1873
species Raja clavata Linnaeus, 1758
species Raja maderensis Lowe, 1838
species Rajella bigelowi (Stehmann, 1978)
species Dipturus oxyrinchus (Linnaeus, 1758)
species Bathyraja richardsoni (Garrick, 1961)
species Tetronarce nobiliana (Bonaparte, 1835)

Usage licence

Usage licence: 
Creative Commons Public Domain Waiver (CC-Zero)
IP rights notes: 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 Licence.

Data resources

Data package title: 
Azores chondrichthyes updated checklist
Number of data sets: 
Data set name: 
Azores chondrichthyes updated checklist
Data format: 
Darwin Core

This updated checklist of the chondrichthyans already identified within the Azores EEZ follows the last revised version published by Barreiros and Gadig (2011). Two new records have been registered and the taxonomy has been updated. New information regarding the specific occurrence of the rare Odontaspis ferox was recently published (see Barcelos et al. 2018). The first comprehensive chondrichthyan checklist was published by Santos et al. (1997) and later updated by Porteiro et al. (2010).

Column label Column description
id identification of the record
taxonID identification of the taxon
acceptedNameUsageID identification of the usage name
parentNameUsageID identifiction of the parent usage name
scientificName scientific name of the taxon
parentNameUsage name from which the taxon name originates
kingdom kingdom
phylum phylum
class class
order order
family family
genus genus
specificEpithet specific epithet
taxonRank taxon rank
scientificNameAuthorship scientific name authorship

Additional information

The following species are referred to the Azores’ EEZ by some authors: Bathytoshia centroura (Das and Afonso 2017, Santos et al. 2020), Deania hystricosa (Compagno 2016), Dipturus intermedius (Santos et al. 2020) and Bathyraja pallida (Das and Afonso 2017, Santos et al. 2020). However, they were not included in this checklist because those authors, as well as other sources (e.g. IUCN’s Red List) report their occurrence as either doubtful or ‘need to be confirmed’. As such, this fact does not allow us to have a degree of confidence that these species were actually confirmed to occur within this checklist geographic area.

Author contributions

LMDB, JMNA and JPB published the updated checklist in GBIF IPT - Portugal and built the framework. LMDB developed this paper and uploaded all the files into the Arphahub platform. All authors read and edited the submitted version and agreed on its present version.


Supplementary material

Suppl. material 1: Species list - taxon remarks and occurrence details 
Authors:  Barcelos LMD, Azevedo JMN, Barreiros JP
Data type:  taxon remarks, occurrence details, IUCN conservation status