This shark’s eyes have a milky white appearance

The Milk Eye catshark (Apristurus nakayai) is a species of shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae found in Coriolis Bank off western New Caledonia.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: nakayai


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: The maximum recorded length is 67.6 cm/2.2 feet, taken from the male holotype.

Head: Its eyes are milky white in color and cat-like in appearance. The iris is shiny white in fresh specimens.

Denticles: There are no denticles in the mouth.

Tail: The caudal fin has a lone terminal lobe; its length is more than twice its height.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Milk-Eye catshark is found on Coriolis Bank off northern and western New Caledonia (21°S – 22°S, 157°E – 158°E). They are considered bathypelagic found at a depth range of between 3,127-3,353 feet.  

Aesthetic Identification: The Milk-Eye catshark is brownish black in color. There is a short interspace from P1 of the free rear tip to the P2 origin, which is subequal to the internarial width. The midpoint of the total length is located well behind the cloaca. The pectoral fins are large. The width is about 2.7 times the P1 tip-P2 origin. The anal-fin base is long, longer than the D1 insertion-D2 insertions. The first dorsal fin is located well behind the pelvic-fin insertion. The first dorsal fin is smaller than the second dorsal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: There is a very short pyloric stomach. The intestinal spiral valves count 16. The monospondylous vertebrae count 36. The precaudal diplospondylous vertebrae count 37.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Milk-Eye Catshark Future and Conservation: This species is not evaluated.

Milk-Eye Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.