Mysterious Arabian catshark

The Arabian catshark (Bythaelurus alcockii or Bythaelurus alcocki) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. It is presumably less than a foot long, and lives in open seas. It is only known from a single specimen, now lost, which was found on the continental slope of the Arabian Sea in deep water. The placement in the genus is tentative.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Bythaelurus 

Species: alcockii


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks


Speciesalcockii or alcocki


Average Size and Length: Unknown, but presumably less than 30 cm/11.8 inches.

Head: The Arabian catshark has a longer snout and smaller eyes than the Bristly catshark.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Arabian catshark can be found in the Arabian Sea in deep water on the continental sloe on or near the bottom between 3,720-4,140 feet deep. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Arabian catshark is similar to the Bristly catshark. The second dorsal fin is slightly larger than the first dorsal fin, which differs from the Bristly catshark. The Arabian catshark also has a smaller anal fin. The Arabian catshark is black in color with a hoary grey surface and white tips on some fins.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown. Possibly oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Arabian Catshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate.

Arabian Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.