Rare shark in the east China Sea

The Fat Catshark (Apristurus pinguis) is a species of shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. It is found only in the east China Sea. The Fat catshark is a deep-water bathypelagic species. Not much is known about this shark, but they are possibly oviparous.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: pinguis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Its length is mostly unknown. Mature males have been measured at 56 cm/1.8 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The labial furrows are long. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are about the same length. The teeth are small, three-cusped and burr-like, with a sharp point.

Head: The snout is thick, long, broad and stout. The mouth projects forward well in front of the eyes. The eyes are small and cat-like in appearance.

Denticles: There is possibly a crest of dermal denticles on the dorsal caudal margin, but this isn’t confirmed.

Tail: The caudal fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Fat catshark can be found in the east China Sea between China and the Ryu-Kyu Islands in Japan. Sightings in other locations are more than likely a case of misidentification. It has been captured from between 656-3,412 feet. The Fat catshark is a deep-water bathypelagic species.

Aesthetic Identification: The Fat catshark is fat or stout in shape. It is greyish brown with no obvious fin markings. The gill slits are wide. They are about the size of the eye length in adults. The pectoral fins are very short. The dorsal fins are about equal sized. The interdorsal space is roughly equal to the first dorsal base. The first dorsal fin origin is over the rear of the pelvic fin bases. The anal fin is large, elongated high, angular and rounded. It is separated from the tail fin by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown, but possibly oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Fat Catshark Future and Conservation: The Fat catshark is not evaluated.

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