Little-known catshark with a large head

The Bighead catshark (Apristurus bucephalus) (previously sp. F) is a species of shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae endemic to Australia. Only three specimens have been taken from Perth. Not much is known about this species.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: bucephalus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Their length is mostly unknown. They reach at least 73 cm/2.4 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: There are long labial furrows. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are about the same length.

Head: They have an extremely broad, fattened head and a very short snout. The mouth extends well in front of the eyes. The eyes are small.

Tail: The tail fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Bighead catshark can be found in west Australia off of Perth. They can be found on the continental slope. The specimens were collected between 3,379-3,445 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The Bighead catshark is stout and uniform greyish-brown in color. There are black rear margins to the anal and caudal fins. There are pleats on the throat. The fins are broad and rounded. The first dorsal fin is lower than the second one. The pectoral and pelvic fins are widely separated. The anal fin is very short and deep. It is separated from the tail fin by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Bighead Catshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. Only three specimens are known.

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