A catshark with a wide range and environment

The Iceland catshark or Icelandic catshark (Apristurus laurussonii) is a species of shark, belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. The Iceland catshark is found in the western Atlantic, from Massachusetts, Delaware, and the northern Gulf of Mexico, as well as the eastern Atlantic from Iceland, southwestern Ireland, the Canary Islands, Madeira, South Africa, and between 67 and 11°N, 98°W – 11°E. They are found in depths of 1,837-6,759 feet on or near the bottom over upper continental slopes. The snout is short, the eyes and gill slits are extremely small. Not much is known about this shark. They are presumably oviparous.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: laurussonii


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Theil length is mostly unknown. Adult males have been measured around 68 cm and females 67/2.2 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is short and arched. The labial furrows are very long. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are shorter. The teeth are sharp.

Head: The head is broad and flattened. The snout is fairly short. The nostrils are broad. The mouth extends to the anterior ends of the eyes. The eyes are cat like in appearance and quite small.

Tail: The caudal fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Iceland catshark can be found in the west Atlantic in the USA in Massachusetts and Delaware. They can be found in the northern Gulf of Mexico, in Honduras and Venezuela. In the east Atlantic they can be found in Iceland, Ireland, Canary Islands, and Madeira south to the equatorial Africa. They can be found over the continental slopes in deep water between 1,837-6,759 feet on or near the bottom.

Diet: Its diet is mostly unknown.

Aesthetic Identification: The Iceland catshark is dark brown in color. The gill slits are narrow, they are smaller than the length of an adult eye. The gill slits do not have prominent medial projections on the gill septa. The first dorsal fin is slightly larger than the second. There is space between, the first is greater than the dorsal base. There is a very long and elongated anal fin separated from the tail by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Their biology and reproduction are unknown, but presumably oviparous laying aired eggs.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Not much is known. They may possibly be nocturnal.

Iceland Catshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated, however fairly common. The are most likely discarded from deep-water trawls.

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