Very rare deepwater shark found near Japan and Hawaiian Islands

The Mosaic Gulper shark (Centrophorus tessellatus) is a small rare deepwater shark belonging to the family Centrophoridae, found in the Pacific Ocean around Honshū, Japan and the Hawaiian Islands.


Family: Centrophoridae – Gulper Sharks

Genus: Centrophorus 

Species: tessellatus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Centrophoridae

Common Name– Gulpher Sharks




Average Size and Length: Maximum length is from a male holotype recorded at 89 cm long (3 feet). Research suggests this was an adult.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth in the bottom jaw are wide and blade-like with a hooked point. The teeth in the upper jaw are smaller and just come to a downward point.

Head: The snout is long and thick. The eyes are large.

Denticles: The skin of the Mosaic Gulper shark is smooth. The dermal denticles are block-like and are widespread. They do not overlap.

Tail: The caudal fin has a shallow notch on the rear margin.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Mosaic Gulper shark can be found in the west and the central Pacific in Honshū, Japan French, Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands, and in the northwest Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean in very isolated locations. They can be found on the insular slopes on or near the bottom between 853-2,395 feet. They are considered benthopelagic.

Aesthetic Identification: The Mosaic Gulper shark is light brownish above and counter-shaded white underneath. There are light fin margins to the fins. The rear pectoral fin tips are angular and elongated. The first dorsal fin is high and short. The second dorsal fin is as large as the first with the spine origin over the free rear tips of the pelvic fins.

Biology and Reproduction: They are presumably ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Mosaic Gulper Shark Future and Conservation: Not enough data to evaluate. They may be susceptible to deepwater bottom trawlers.

Mosaic Gulper Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.