Probably one of the best ways to find a new species of shark is to look in your local market.  Some weeks ago, there was Squalus formosus  in Taiwan and two years ago, there was the Jimbaran shovelnose ray of Indonesia.

Now there is a new Gollum shark found in the Puerto Princesa market in Palawan as written by Last and Gaudiano in Zootaxa [1].

Gollum suluensis Courtesy: LAST & GAUDIANO, Zootaxa 3002 (2011).

Gollum suluensis is only the other species of the genus Gollum.  Its cousin is the New Zealand gollumshark  (G. attenuatus).  It is different from its cousin “for having a darker, plainer and less contrasted coloration, softer body, shorter and broader snout, smaller spiracle, larger pectoral fin, wider head, as well as larger proportions of the nostril, mouth and interorbital space.”

Interestingly, the genus Gollum is named after the famous Gollum of the Lord of the Rings.  Sulu of course, is a sea in the southwestern area of the Philippines.

A blogger from New Zealand has a funny take on the name. Click here.

Thanks to a fellow blogger, I now have the complete paper and I will be writing some more info if  time allows.


[1] LAST P, & GAUDIANO J P (2011). Gollum suluensis sp. nov. (Carcharhiniformes: Pseudotriakidae), a new gollumshark from the southern Philippines zootaxa 3002, 17-30