Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameGround Sharks

Scyliorhinidae, or common name Catsharks belong to the order Carcharhiniformes or common name Ground sharks. This is the largest family of sharks, belonging to the largest order of sharks. Catsharks can be found world-wide from tropical waters, to even arctic waters. They are found usually on or near the seabed, from the intertidal zone to the very deep, well over 6,560 feet. They are often restricted to small ranges. Many Catsharks do not undertake long distance migrations. Many are very rarely seen, and only known from a few specimens. There is a lot of room for research among this family of sharks. Many of the sharks within the same genera are very hard to tell apart from one another.

Scyliorhinidae are usually small, less than 80 cm/2.6 feet in length, some may mature at 30 cm/11.8 inches and very few ever reach 160 cm/5.2 feet. Some of the smallest sharks in the worls belong to the family Scyliorhinidae. Catsharks have elongated bodies, two small spineless dorsal fins and no anal fin. The first dorsal fin base is usually over or behind the pelvic fin bases. The mouth is long and arched and reaches past the front end of the eyes. The eyes are very much cat-like in appearance. Several species have a patterned appearance, ranging from stripes to patches to spots. Most eat benthic invertebrates and small fish.

The biology of Scyliorhinidae is poorly known. Many Catsharks are oviparous. Some lay many pairs of eggs, contained I egg cases that have tendrils, on the seabed. With these species, hatching may take over a year. These are the more primitive species. The more advanced species will hold the eggs until the embryos are almost fully developed, which will hatch sometimes within a month. These species will lay many eggs. Some species are even ovoviviparous. Some species are very poor swimmers, some inshore species are nocturnal. Some species of Catsharks may sleep in groups in crevices during the day, and actively move out to feed during the night.

Some species are important to commercial fisheries, but not many. Some may be taken as bycatch. Catsharks are not dangerous to humans.

The family includes 16 genera (previously 17) and over 160 species, making it the largest family of sharks. Because of this large family group, we have broken the group down further by each genus.

Apristurus Garman, 1913

Bigfin CatsharkApristurus sp. B

Bighead CatsharkApristurus bucephalus (W. T. White, Last & Pogonoski, 2008)

Black Roughscale CatsharkApristurus melanoasper (Iglésias, Nakaya & Stehmann, 2004)

Black Wonder CatsharkApristurus sp. 3 Not yet described

Broadgill CatsharkApristurus riveri (Bigelow & Schroeder, 1944)

Broadmouth CatsharkApristurus macrostomus (Q. W. Meng, Y. T. Chu & S. Li, 1985)

Broadnose CatsharkApristurus investigatoris (Misra, 1962)

Brown CatsharkApristurus brunneus (C. H. Gilbert, 1892)

Bulldog CatsharkApristurus sp. E

Deepwater CatsharkApristurus profundorum (Goode & T. H. Bean, 1896)

Fat CatsharkApristurus pinguis (S. M. Deng, G. Q. Xiong & H. X. Zhan, 1983)

Fedorov’s Catshark or Stout CatsharkApristurus fedorovi (Dolganov, 1985)

Flaccid CatsharkApristurus exsanguis (K. Sato, Nakaya & A. L. Stewart, 1999)

Flathead CatsharkApristurus macrorhynchus (S. Tanaka (I), 1909)

Fleshynose CatsharkApristurus sp. C

Freckled CatsharkApristurus sp. A

Galbraith’s CatsharkApristurus sp. X Not yet described

Garrick’s CatsharkApristurus garricki (K. Sato, A. L. Stewart & Nakaya, 2013)

Ghost CatsharkApristurus manis (S. Springer, 1979)

Gray Ghost CatsharkApristurus sp. Not yet described

Hoary CatsharkApristurus canutus (S. Springer & Heemstra, 1979)

Humpback CatsharkApristurus gibbosus (Y. T. Chu, Q. W. Meng & S. Li, 1985)

Iceland CatsharkApristurus laurussonii (Sæmundsson, 1922)

Japanese CatsharkApristurus japonicus (Nakaya, 1975)

Largenose CatsharkApristurus nasutus (F. de Buen, 1959)

Longfin CatsharkApristurus herklotsi (Fowler, 1934)

Longhead CatsharkApristurus longicephalus (Nakaya, 1975)

Longnose CatsharkApristurus kampae (L. R. Taylor, 1972)

Milk-Eye CatsharkApristurus nakayai (Iglésias, 2013)

Pale CatsharkApristurus sibogae (M. C. W. Weber, 1913)

Panama Ghost Catshark- Apristurus stenseni (S. Springer, 1979)

Pinocchio CatsharkApristurus australis (K. Sato, Nakaya & Yorozu, 2008)

Roughskin CatsharkApristurus ampliceps (Sasahara, K. Sato & Nakaya, 2008)

Saldanha CatsharkApristurus saldanha (Barnard, 1925)

Shortbelly CatsharkApristurus breviventralis (Kawauchi, Weigmann & Nakaya, 2014)

Shortnose Demon CatsharkApristurus internatus (S. M. Deng, G. Q. Xiong & H. X. Zhan, 1988)

Smallbelly CatsharkApristurus indicus (A. B. Brauer, 1906)

Smalldorsal CatsharkApristurus micropterygeus (Q. W. Meng, Y. T. Chu & S. Li, 1986)

Smalleye CatsharkApristurus microps (Gilchrist, 1922)

Smallfin CatsharkApristurus parvipinnis (S. Springer & Heemstra, 1979)

South China CatsharkApristurus sinensis (Y. T. Chu & A. S. Hu, 1981)

Spatulasnout or Borneo CatsharkApristurus platyrhynchus (S. Tanaka (I), 1909)

Spongehead CatsharkApristurus spongiceps (C. H. Gilbert, 1905)

White-Bodied CatsharkApristurus albisoma (Nakaya & Séret, 1999)

White-Edged CatsharkApristurus sp. nov. Not yet described

White Ghost CatsharkApristurus aphyodes (Nakaya & Stehmann, 1998)

Apristurus sereti (Adnet, 2006)


Asymbolus Whitley, 1939

Blotched CatsharkAsymbolus funebris (Compagno, Stevens & Last, 1999)

Dwarf CatsharkAsymbolus parvus (Compagno, Stevens & Last, 1999)

Grey Spotted Catshark or Australian Spotted CatsharkAsymbolus analis (J. D. Ogilby, 1885)

Gulf CatsharkAsymbolus vincenti (Zietz (fi), 1908)

Orange Spotted CatsharkAsymbolus rubiginosus (Last, M. F. Gomon & Gledhill, 1999)

Pale Spotted CatsharkAsymbolus pallidus (Last, M. F. Gomon & Gledhill, 1999)

Starry CatsharkAsymbolus galacticus (Séret & Last, 2008)

Variegated CatsharkAsymbolus submaculatus (Compagno, Stevens & Last, 1999)

Western Spotted CatsharkAsymbolus occiduus (Last, M. F. Gomon & Gledhill, 1999)


Atelomycterus Garman, 1913

Australian Marbled CatsharkAtelomycterus macleayi (Whitley, 1939)

Bali CatsharkAtelomycterus baliensis (W. T. White, Last & Dharmadi, 2005)

Banded Sand CatsharkAtelomycterus fasciatus (Compagno & Stevens, 1993)

Coral CatsharkAtelomycterus marmoratus (Anonymous, referred to E. T. Bennett, 1830)

Eastern Banded CatsharkAtelomycterus marnkalha (Jacobsen & M. B. Bennett, 2007)

Spotted-Belly CatsharkAtelomycterus erdmanni (Fahmi & W. T. White, 2015)


Aulohalaelurus Fowler, 1934

Blackspotted Catshark or Australian Blackspotted CatsharkAulohalaelurus labiosus (Waite, 1905)

New Caledonia Catshark or Kanakorum CatsharkAulohalaelurus kanakorum (Séret, 1990)


Bythaelurus Compagno, 1988

Arabian CatsharkBythaelurus alcockii (Garman, 1913)

Bristly CatsharkBythaelurus hispidus (Alcock, 1891)

Broadhead CatsharkBythaelurus clevai (Séret, 1987)

Dusky CatsharkBythaelurus canescens (Günther, 1878)

Dusky Snout CatsharkBythaelurus naylori (Ebert & Clerkin, 2015)

Error Seamount CatsharkBythaelurus stewarti (Weigmann, Kaschner, and Thiel, 2018)

Galápagos CatsharkBythaelurus giddingsi (J. E. McCosker, Long & C. C. Baldwin, 2012)

Mud CatsharkBythaelurus lutarius (S. Springer & D’Aubrey, 1972)

Narrowhead CatsharkBythaelurus tenuicephalus (Kaschner, Weigmann & Thiel, 2015)

New Zealand CatsharkBythaelurus dawsoni (S. Springer, 1971)

Sombre CatsharkBythaelurus incanus (Last & J. D. Stevens, 2008)

Spotless CatsharkBythaelurus immaculatus (Y. T. Chu & Q. W. Meng, 1982)


Cephaloscyllium T. N. Gill, 1862

Australian Reticulate SwellsharkCephaloscyllium hiscosellum (W. T. White & Ebert, 2008)

Australian SwellsharkCephaloscyllium laticeps (A. H. A. Duméril, 1853)

Balloon SharkCephaloscyllium sufflans (Regan, 1921)

Cook’s SwellsharkCephaloscyllium cooki (Last, Séret & W. T. White, 2008)

Droughtsboard SharkCephaloscyllium isabellum (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Dwarf Balloon SharkCephaloscyllium sp. Not yet described

Dwarf Oriental SwellsharkCephaloscyllium sp. Not yet described

Flagtail SwellsharkCephaloscyllium signourum (Last, Séret & W. T. White, 2008)

Indian SwellsharkCephaloscyllium silasi (Talwar, 1974)

Japanese Swellshark or Blotchy SwellsharkCephaloscyllium umbratile (D. S. Jordan & Fowler, 1903)

Narrowbar SwellsharkCephaloscyllium zebrum (Last, Séret & W. T. White, 2008)

New Caledonia SwellsharkCephaloscyllium sp. Not yet described

New Guinea SwellsharkCephaloscyllium sp. Not yet described

Northern Draughtboard SharkCephaloscyllium sp. C

Painted SwellsharkCephaloscyllium pictum (Last, Séret & W. T. White, 2008)

Philippine SwellsharkCephaloscyllium sp. 1 Not yet described

Red Sea SwellsharkCephaloscyllium sp. Not yet described

Reticulated SwellsharkCephaloscyllium fasciatum (W. L. Y. Chan, 1966)

Saddled SwellsharkCephaloscyllium variegatum (Last, Séret & W. T. White, 2008)

Sarawak Pygmy SwellsharkCephaloscyllium sarawakensis (Ka. Yano, A. Ahmad & Gambang, 2005)

Speckled SwellsharkCephaloscyllium speccum (Last, Séret & W. T. White, 2008)

Steven’s SwellsharkCephaloscyllium stevensi (E. Clark & J. E. Randall, 2011)

SwellsharkCephaloscyllium ventriosum (Garman, 1880)

Tiger SwellsharkCephaloscyllium sp. Not yet described

Whitefin SwellsharkCephaloscyllium albipinnum (Last, Motomura & W. T. White, 2008)


Cephalurus Bigelow and Schroeder, 1941

Lollipop CatsharkCephalurus cephalus

Southern Lollipop CatsharkCephalurus sp. A


Figaro Whitley, 1928

Until 2008, Figaro was generally considered to be a subgenus of Galeus.

Australian Sawtail Catshark– Pristiurus (Figaro) boardmani

Northern Sawtail Catshark– Figaro striatus or Galeus sp. B


Galeus Rafinesque, 1810

African Sawtail CatsharkGaleus polli (Cadenat, 1959)

Antilles CatsharkGaleus antillensis (S. Springer, 1979)

Atlantic Sawtail CatsharkGaleus atlanticus (Vaillant, 1888)

Australian Sawtail CatsharkGaleus boardmani

Blackmouth CatsharkGaleus melastomus (Rafinesque, 1810)

Blacktip Sawtail CatsharkGaleus sauteri (D. S. Jordan & R. E. Richardson, 1909)

Broadfin Sawtail CatsharkGaleus nipponensis (Nakaya, 1975)

Dwarf Sawtail CatsharkGaleus schultzi (S. Springer, 1979)

Gecko CatsharkGaleus eastmani (D. S. Jordan & Snyder, 1904)

Longfin Sawtail CatsharkGaleus cadenati (S. Springer, 1966)

Longnose Sawtail CatsharkGaleus longirostris (Tachikawa & Taniuchi, 1987)

Mouse CatsharkGaleus murinus (Collett, 1904)

Northern Sawtail CatsharkGaleus sp. B or Figaro striatus 

Peppered CatsharkGaleus piperatus (S. Springer & M. H. Wagner, 1966)

Phallic CatsharkGaleus priapus (Séret & Last, 2008)

Roughtail CatsharkGaleus arae (Nichols, 1927)

Slender Sawtail CatsharkGaleus gracilis (Compagno & Stevens, 1993)

Southern Sawtail CatsharkGaleus mincaronei (Soto, 2001)

Springer’s Sawtail CatsharkGaleus springeri (Konstantinou & Cozzi, 1998)


Halaelurus T. N. Gill, 1862

Blackspotted Catshark or Darkspot CatsharkHalaelurus buergeri (J. P. Müller & Henle, 1838)

Indonesian Speckled CatsharkHalaelurus maculosus (W. T. White, Last & Stevens, 2007)

Lined CatsharkHalaelurus lineatus (Bass, D’Aubrey & Kistnasamy, 1975)

Quagga CatsharkHalaelurus quagga (Alcock, 1899)

Rusty CatsharkHalaelurus sellus (W. T. White, Last & Stevens, 2007)

Speckled CatsharkHalaelurus boesemani (S. Springer & D’Aubrey, 1972)

Tiger CatsharkHalaelurus natalensis (Regan, 1904)


Haploblepharus Garman, 1913

Brown Shyshark or Plain HappyHaploblepharus fuscus (J. L. B. Smith, 1950)

Dark Shyshark or Pretty HappyHaploblepharus pictus (J. P. Müller & Henle, 1838)

Natal Shyshark or Eastern Shyshark or Happy ChappieHaploblepharus kistnasamyi (Human & Compagno, 2006)

Puffadder Shyshark or Happy EddieHaploblepharus edwardsii (Schinz, 1822)


Holohalaelurus Fowler, 1934

East African Spotted Catshark or Grinning IzakHolohalaelurus grennian (Human, 2006)

Honeycomb IzakHolohalaelurus favus (Human, 2006)

Izak CatsharkHolohalaelurus regani (Gilchrist, 1922)

Tropical Izak or Crying IzakHolohalaelurus melanostigma (Norman, 1939)

Whitespotted Izak or African Spotted CatsharkHolohalaelurus punctatus (Gilchrist, 1914)


Parmaturus Garman, 1906

Beige CatsharkParmaturus bigus (Séret & Last, 2007)

Blackgill CatsharkParmaturus melanobranchus (W. L. Y. Chan, 1966)

Campeche CatsharkParmaturus campechiensis (S. Springer, 1979)

Filetail CatsharkParmaturus xaniurus (C. H. Gilbert, 1892)

Gulf of Mexico FiletailParmaturus sp. Not yet described

Indonesian Filetail CatsharkParmaturus sp. Not yet described

New Zealand Filetail or McMillan’s CatsharkParmaturus macmillani (Hardy, 1985)

Roughback CatsharkParmaturus sp. Not yet described

Salamander Shark or Salamander CatsharkParmaturus pilosus (Garman, 1906)

Shorttail CatsharkParmaturus sp. A

Velvet CatsharkParmaturus lanatus (Séret & Last, 2007)

White-Clasper CatsharkParmaturus albipenis (Séret & Last, 2007)

White-Tip CatsharkParmaturus albimarginatus (Séret & Last, 2007)


Pentanchus H. M. Smith and Radcliffe in Smith, 1912

Onefin CatsharkPentanchus profundicolus


Poroderma A. Smith, 1838

Striped Catshark or Pyjama SharkPoroderma africanum (J. F. Gmelin, 1789)

Leopard CatsharkPoroderma pantherinum (J. P. Müller & Henle, 1838)


Schroederichthys A. Smith, 1838

Lizard CatsharkSchroederichthys saurisqualus (Soto, 2001)

Narrowmouth CatsharkSchroederichthys bivius (J. P. Müller & Henle, 1838)

Narrowtail CatsharkSchroederichthys maculatus (S. Springer, 1966)

Redspotted CatsharkSchroederichthys chilensis (Guichenot, 1848)

Slender CatsharkSchroederichthys tenuis (S. Springer, 1966)


Scyliorhinus Blainville, 1816

Blotched CatsharkScyliorhinus meadi (S. Springer, 1966)

Boa CatsharkScyliorhinus boa (Goode & T. H. Bean, 1896)

Brownspotted CatsharkScyliorhinus garmani (Fowler, 1934)

Chain Catshark or Chain DogfishScyliorhinus retifer (Garman, 1881)

Cloudy CatsharkScyliorhinus torazame (S. Tanaka (I), 1908)

Comoro CatsharkScyliorhinus comoroensis (L. J. V. Compagno, 1988)

Dark Freckled CatsharkScyliorhinus ugoi (K. D. A. Soares, Gadig & U. L. Gomes, 2015)

Dwarf CatsharkScyliorhinus torrei (Howell-Rivero, 1936)

Freckled CatsharkScyliorhinus haeckelii (A. Miranda-Ribeiro, 1907)

Izu CatsharkScyliorhinus tokubee (Shirai, S. Hagiwara & Nakaya, 1992)

Nursehound- Scyliorhinus stellaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Polkadot CatsharkScyliorhinus besnardi (Springer & Sadowsky, 1970)

Smallspotted CatsharkScyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758)

West African CatsharkScyliorhinus cervigoni (Maurin & M. Bonnet, 1970)

Whitesaddled CatsharkScyliorhinus hesperius (S. Springer, 1966)

Yellowspotted CatsharkScyliorhinus capensis (J. P. Müller & Henle, 1838)

Scyliorhinus cabofriensis (K. D. A. Soares, U. L. Gomes & M. R. de Carvalho, 2016)