Little known Catshhark found in and around our area

The Hoary catshark (Apristurus canutus) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae found in the Caribbean from the Straits of Florida to Leeward Islands off Antigua and Anguilla, at depths between 1,709 and 3,002 feet. They are small in size. Not much is known about this shark.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: canutus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Their measurements are mostly unknown. Adults have been measured between 40-45 cm/1.3-1.4 feet. The maximum recorded has been 46 cm/1.5 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and arched. There are very long labial furrows. The upper labial furrows reach the upper symphysis, and the lowers are shorter than the uppers.

Head: They have broad a broad, flattened head with a rounded snout. The nostrils are large. The mouth is positioned under the eyes. The eyes are bigger than the widest gill slit and are long and elongated.

Tail: The caudal fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Hoary catshark can be found in the Caribbean in the Straits of Florida, Leeward Islands, Netherlands Antilles, Venezuela and Colombia. They can be found on the insular slopes between 1,709 and 3,002 feet. They are considered bathydemersal. Females may possibly spawn off of Leeward Islands.

Aesthetic Identification: The Hoary catshark is dark grey with blackish fin margins. The first dorsal fin is much smaller than the second dorsal fin, originating behind the pelvic fin insertions. The pectoral and pelvic fins are fairly close together. There is a very large elongated anal fin separated from the tail fin by a small notch. The anal fin base is 2.5-3 times the height.

Biology and Reproduction: Their biology is unknown. They could possibly be oviparous, but this is not confirmed. More than likely they lay paired eggs.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown. They may possibly be nocturnal.

Hoary Catshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated.

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