GHOST CATSHARK

Maybe this shark is a ghost

The Ghost catshark (Apristurus manis) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. It is found on the continental slopes in the northwest Atlantic off Massachusetts, the northeast Atlantic from the Porcupine Bank west of Ireland and the southern Atlantic off Cape Town. There is not much known about this shark, but it does have unique crest of enlarged dermal denticles on its narrow caudal fin.

 

Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: manis

Taxonomy:

Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles

OrderCarcharhiniformes

Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks

GenusApristurus

Speciesmanis

Status: IUCN Red List LEAST CONCERN

Average Size and Length: Males have been recorded at least 76 cm/2.5 feet. Adult females have been recorded at 85 cm/2.8 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long. There are enlarged dental bands. There are very long labial furrows. The uppers reach the upper symphysis. The lowers are the same length. The teeth are sharp and pointed appearing to have 5 cusps.

Head: The head is broad and flattened with an elongated snout. The broad nostrils have circular apertures. The mouth extends in front of small eyes. The eyes are cat-like in appearance.

Denticles: The lateral trunk denticles are scarce. The body is stout, tapering in a wedge towards the head.

Tail: The caudal fin is narrow. There is a crest of enlarged dermal denticles on the caudal fin.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Ghost catshark can be found north and southeast in the Atlantic Ocean. They can be found over continental shelves between 2,159-5,709 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Ghost catshark is dark grey or blackish. Its fin tips are whiteish, especially with juveniles. The gill slits are small. They are less than the adult eye length. The dorsal fins are equal sized. The first space is greater than the first dorsal base. The anal fin is large and broadly 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. They may be nocturnal.

Ghost Catshark Future and Conservation: They are currently of least concern. They may be caught as bycatch.

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