Holotype catshark in the Andaman Sea and one of the smallest sharks

The Broadnose catshark (Apristurus investigatoris) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. The female holotype was found in deep water in the Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean. It was measured at 24 cm, but more than likely an immature specimen. Not much is known about this shark. The Broadnose catshark ranks 6th in our PSD ranked World’s Smallest Sharks, read it here!


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: investigatoris


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: The length is mostly unknown. The female type specimen was measured at 24 cm/9.4 inches long.

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: The female holotype more than likely was an immature specimen.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is very short. There are very long labial furrows. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are about as long as the uppers are.

Head: The head is very broad and flattened with an elongated snout and large nostrils. The mouth extends slightly in front of the eyes. The eyes are elongated and cat-like.

Denticles: There is a fairly well-developed caudal crest of denticles.

Tail: The caudal fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Broadnose catshark is found in the Indian Ocean in the Andaman Sea. They can be found over the continental slope in deep water on the bottom and have been recorded at 3,412 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Broadnose catshark is plain to medium brown in color. There are no prominent fin markings. The gill slits are smaller than the adult eye length. The abdomen is short. The first dorsal fin is two-thirds the area of the second dorsal fin. The first dorsal fin extends forward as a long and low ridge to nearly over the pelvic fin origins. The anal fin is elongated, large, low rounded and angular.  It is separated from the tail fin by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown, but presumably oviparous and possibly lay paired eggs.

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

Broadnose Catshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated.

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