A catshark that easily breeds in captivity

The Izu catshark (Scyliorhinus tokubee) is a species of catshark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae, found only in the waters around Japan, at depths down to 328 feet. It can grow up to a length of 1.3 feet and has a striking pattern.

Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Scyliorhinus 

Species: tokubee


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Each egg case measures around 4.5 cm/ 1.8 inches long. The length of hatchlings is unknown. Mature males measure between 39-41 cm/1.2-1.3 feet and mature females between 38-39 cm/1.2 feet.  The maximum is over 41 cm/1.3 feet long.

Teeth and Jaw: There are labial furrows on the lower jaw only. The teeth are jagged and burr-like with five cusps, with the central cusp longer and larger than the surrounding cusplets.

Head: There is a conspicuous dark bar below the cat-like eyes. The small, narrow anterior nasal flaps end in front of the mouth and there are no nasoral grooves.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Izu catshark can be found in the northwest Pacific in Japan in southeastern Honshu, Izu Peninsula off of Shirahama. They can be found offshore on the continental shelf at around 328 feet. They are considered temperate, demersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Izu catshark is small with sharply defined and bold reddish-brown colored saddles on the midline of the back and large lateral blotches on a light grey-brown background. The ventral side is a solid yellow to white in color. There are many visible densely set small yellowish spots in saddles and spaces between them as well as on the fins, without any dark spots. The second dorsal fin is much smaller than the first dorsal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: They are oviparous, laying one egg per oviduct. The hatchlings reach adulthood in five years or less.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Very little is known about their behavior. They are more than likely nocturnal.

Izu Catshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. They have been readily bred in captivity in the Shimoda Floating Aquarium.

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