A little-known shark with a distinct stripe under the snout

The Darksnout houndshark or Deepwater Sicklefin houndshark (Hemitriakis abdita) is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae. It is found in the western central Pacific, in the Coral Sea off Queensland, Australia and possibly the waters off New Caledonia in deep water. Not much is known about this shark for it is only known for a few specimens. It has a distinguishable dark stripe under the snout and white-tipped dorsal fins.


Family: Triakidae – Houndsharks

Genus: Hemitriakis 

Species: abdita


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Triakidae

Common NameHoundsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born between 20-25 cm/7.8-9.8 inches. Mature sharks have been measured at 65 cm/2.1 feet. The longest recorded was over 80 cm/2.6 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is arched, and the teeth are small and blade like. The main cusp is arched, and there are small serrations on the inner edge.

Head: The snout is long and parabolic. There are small anterior nasal flaps. The eyes are small and elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Darksnout houndshark or Deepwater Sicklefin houndshark can be found in the southwest Pacific in Queensland, Australia and possibly New Caledonia. They are found in deep water on the upper continental slope between 738-1,312 feet. It is considered benthopelagic or bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Darksnout houndshark or Deepwater Sicklefin houndshark is a slender greyish-brown shark with a dark stripe underneath the snout. There are distinct white tips on the dorsal fins that are similar in size. The dorsal fins, pectoral fins, and anal fin are falcate. Juveniles have prominent dark bars and solid saddles on the body and fins.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown but it could be ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Darksnout Houndshark or Deepwater Sicklefin Houndshark Future and Conservation: There is currently not enough data to evaluate. They are only known from a few specimens in a restricted area. The holotype was collected at a depth of 738 feet.

Darksnout Houndshark or Deepwater Sicklefin Houndshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.