A catshark with a unique snout

The Broadhead catshark (Bythaelurus clevai) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. The holotype was found off Madagascar at a depth between 1,312-1,640 feet. They are oviparous, with recorded births.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Bythaelurus 

Species: clevai


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born at 14 cm/5.5 inches. Mature males have been measured between 36-39 cm/1.2-1.3 feet. Mature females have been measured between 35-39 cm/1.1-1.3 feet. The maximum recorded was measured at 39 cm/1.3 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and arched. The teeth have 3 cusps with one large, sharp straight pointed cusp.

Head: The snout is somewhat long. It is narrow and pointed when looking at the side view, and it is broad and bell-shaped from above. The mouth reaches past the front ends of the eyes. The eyes are small and cat-like in appearance.

Tail: The caudal fin is short.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Broadhead catshark can be found in the west Indian Ocean in southwest Madagascar and it is quite common off of Tulear. They can be found on the upper insular slopes between 1,312-1,640 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Diet: They are known to eat shrimp.

Aesthetic Identification: The Broadhead catshark is small. It is grey dorsally and white ventrally. There are few large, conspicuous dark brown blotches and saddles and small spots on the sides and upper surface of the trunk and the tail. The head is nearly plain. The dorsal, pectoral, pelvic and anal fins have dark bases and light fin margins. There are two small dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin base is mostly over the pelvic fin bases. The anal fin is larger than the second dorsal fin. The second dorsal fin is high and triangular.

Biology and Reproduction: They are oviparous having 2 pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown, but could possibly be nocturnal.

Broadhead Catshark Future and Conservation: Not enough data to evaluate.

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