Male and female sharks that differ in appearance

The Broadgill catshark (Apristurus riveri) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae, found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, including Florida, between 30°N and 9° N, on the continental slopes at depths between 2,402-4,793 feet. They are a small shark that displays sexual dimorphism, and is oviparous.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: riveri


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Adult males have measured between 43-46 cm/1.4-1.5 feet. Adult females between 40-41 cm/1.3 feet. Very few specimens have been measured, so these lengths may not be the best representation.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is very long. The labial furrows are long. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are about the same length. The males have much larger conical teeth and much longer and wider mouths and jaws than the females. The teeth are sharp and to a point with 3 cusps.

Head: The head is broad and flattened with an elongated snout. The nostrils are small. The space between them is 1.5 x the width. The mouth is expanded in front of the eyes. The eyes are cat-like in appearance.

Tail: The caudal fin is narrow.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: the Broadgill catshark can be found in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean in Cuba, in the USA in Florida to Mississippi, in Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. They can be found over continental slopes on or near the bottom between 2,402-4,793 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Broadgill catshark is small and slender. They are dark in color with unmarked fins. The gill slits are enlarged. The widest is just about the adult eye length. The first dorsal fin is small and originates in front of the pelvic fin insertions. The second dorsal fin is larger than the first. The anal fin is high and angular. It is separated from the caudal fin by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: The Broadgill catshark is oviparous and is sexually dimorphic.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Their behavior is unknown. They could possibly be nocturnal.

Broadgill Catshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated.

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