Only the holotype ever found

The Campeche catshark (Parmaturus campechiensis) is a catshark belonging to the family Schyliorhinidae. It is known only from the holotype, a 16 cm/6.2 inches immature female found in the northwestern Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. The specimen was collected at 3,599 feet, a depth beyond current and probably future fishing pressure in the region.


Family: Schyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Parmaturus 

Species: campechiensis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks


Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: The only known specimen of an immature female measured at 16 cm/6.2 inches.

Head: The snout is short. There are very small and low anterior nasal flaps. The ridges under the eyes and gills are not greatly enlarged.

Denticles: There are a crest of saw-like dermal denticles along the top of the tail. They don’t seem to exist below.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The only known specimen, and holotype was collected in the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico (21°N – 18°N). It was found on the continental slope on or near the bottom at 3,599 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Campeche catshark has a soft, flabby, greyish body, with a dusky-colored abdomen, dusky around the gills and on the fin webs. The first dorsal fin origin is slightly in front of the pelvic fin origins. The first dorsal fin is slightly smaller than the second dorsal fin. The second dorsal fin is as large as the anal fin with its insertion well behind the insertion of the anal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown. Possibly oviparous, but completely unknown from only the holotype.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Campeche Catshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate, but more than likely not threatened by fishing pressures due to its found depth.

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