Catshark of Great Australian Bight

The Gulf catshark (Asymbolus vincenti) is a species of shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. They are most commonly found in Great Australian Bight often in seagrass between 427-722 feet. Dark in color, with darker saddles and whitish spots, they have quite a striking appearance.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Asymbolus 

Species: vincenti


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: The egg cases measure 5×2 cm. Mature males have been measured at 38 cm/1.2 feet. The maximum recorded has been greater than 56 cm/1.8 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: There are short labial furrows along the jaws. The upper teeth are exposed.

Head: The head is short, slightly flattened with a short, thick snout. There are narrow ridges below the eyes.

Tail: The caudal fin is short and broad.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Gulf catshark is found in southern Australia. They are most often found in Great Australian Bight. They can be found on the bottom less than 328 feet in the east, they are often found in seagrass beds. In Bight they are found between 427-722 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The Gulf catshark is mottled greyish-brown or even a chocolate color. There are 7-8 dark saddles and many faint small white spots. The ventral side is pale and without spots. There are 2 small dorsal fins behind the pelvic fins. The inner pelvic fin margins are fused into an apron over the claspers in adult males. The anal fin is angular and short.

Biology and Reproduction: They are oviparous. They lay pairs of egg cases with long filaments.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Gulf Catshark Future and Conservation: They are currently of least concern. In part of its range they are caught as bycatch by trawl fisheries.

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