Holotype catshark in the south China sea

The Broadmouth catshark (Apristurus macrostomus) is a rare catshark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. The holotype and only specimen of which was taken from off Zhujiang in the South China Sea, at a depth of 913 m/2,995 feet. Its length is around 38 cm/1.2 feet. There is not much known about this shark.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus

Species: macrostomus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Known only from the holotype of what may be an adult male of 38 cm/1.2 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is short, large and arched. The labial furrows are long. The uppers reach the upper symphysis. The lowers are shorter than the uppers. The teeth are sharp and pointed with 3-5 cusps.

Head: The head is broad and flattened and the snout is rounded and elongated. The nostrils are large. The mouth extends slightly in front of the anterior ends of the eyes. The eyes are cat-like in appearance.

Tail: The caudal fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Broadmouth catshark can be found in the south China Sea. The holotype was captured at 913 m/2,995 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Broadmouth catshark is possibly dark brown to grey brown. The rear fin margins are blackish. The gill slits are small, they are smaller than the adult eye length. The pectoral fins are extremely large. The first dorsal fin originates well behind the pelvic fin bases and it is less than half the size of the second. It is separated from the second by a space greater than the first dorsal fin base. The anal fin is large, elongated and angular. It is separated from the tail fin by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown but possibly oviparous.

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

Broadmouth Catshark Future and Conservation: Not evaluated.

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