Beautiful shark but only known from the holotype

The Comoro catshark (Scyliorhinus comoroensis) is a rare catshark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. The holotype (and only specimen) was taken from the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean, at a depth between 656-1,312 feet.

Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Scyliorhinus 

Species: comoroensis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: The adult male holotype was 46 cm/1.5 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The labial furrows are on the lower jaw only. The specimen was male, so we only know the male teeth have 3 cusps, with the central cusp being much longer than the two surrounding cusps. The central cusp is long, straight and pointed. These are in the upper and lower jaw, but when you get to the back of the jaw, the three-cusped teeth get much smaller, shorter and broad.

Head: There is a conspicuous bark bar under the cat-like eyes. The large anterior nasal flaps reach the mouth but no nasoral grooves.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Comoro catshark can be found in the southwest Indian Ocean at the Comoro Islands. It was found on the insular slope on the bottom between 656-1,312 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Comoro catshark is small, patterned with bold, sharply defined dark grey-brown saddles centered on dark spots on the midline of the back and large blotches on a light grey-brown background. There are numerous scattered small white spots in saddles and spaces between them. There are no small bold dark spots. The second dorsal fin is much smaller than the first dorsal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown. The holotype (and only known specimen) was a male. They could possibly be oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Comoro catshark was photographed in deep water by a research submersible studying coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae.

Comoro Catshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. It is rare and uncommon and is only known from one specimen.

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