Very small shark with a high fin, comb-like teeth and non-uniform dermal denticles only on top

The Highfin dogfish (Centroscyllium excelsum) is a small, little-known species of shark belonging to the family Etmopteridae. It is unique being darker above and lighter below with comb-like teeth and non-uniform dermal denticles only on top.


Family: Etmopteridae – Lantern Sharks

Genus: Centroscyllium 

Species: excelsum


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Etmopteridae

Common NameLantern Sharks




Average Size and Length: The Highfin dogfish is born around 8-9 cm. Adults average between 1.7-2.1 feet.  

Teeth and Jaw: There are strong black markings around the mouth. There are comb-like teeth in both jaws.

Denticles: The dermal denticles on the dorsal side are sparse and irregular. There aren’t any on the underside.

Tail: The caudal peduncle is short.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Highfin dogfish can be found in the northwest Pacific. They can be found over deep seamounts between 2,625-3,281 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Diet: They eat bony fishes.

Aesthetic Identification: The Highfin dogfish is light brown above, and darker brown below. The fin margins are lighter. There are strong black markings on the lower surface of the pectoral fins. The first dorsal fin is high and rounded with a short spine. The second dorsal fin is much larger than the first with a very long spine that reaches above and behind the fin apex.

Biology and Reproduction: The Highfin dogfish is ovoviviparous having 10 pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Highfin Dogfish Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. There are only 21 known specimens or more, but not much more than that.

Highfin Dogfish Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.