This shark prefers a muddy environment

The Mud catshark or sometimes called the Brown catshark (Bythaelurus lutarius) is a species of shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. It is found in Mozambique and Somalia in the open seas of the western Indian Ocean (13° N and 29° S). They are a deep-water species found on or just above the muddy bottom.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Bythaelurus 

Species: lutarius


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born around 14 cm/5.5 inches. Mature sharks have been measured around 31 cm/1 foot. Gravid females have been measured between 33-37 cm/1-1.2 feet. The maximum recorded is 39 cm/1.3 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and arched. The labial furrows are short. The teeth of males and females differ. The males appear to have 5 cusps, the central one being much longer. Females appear to have 3 cusps, the central one being the longest.

Head: The snout is short and rounded. The mouth reaches past the front end of the eyes. The eyes are cat-like in appearance.

Tail: The caudal fin does not have a crest of dermal denticles.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Mud catshark can be found in Mozambique and Somalia. They can be found in deep water on tropical the continental slope on or just above the muddy bottom between 1,108-2,513 feet.

Diet: They eat cephalopods, crustaceans and small bony fish.

Aesthetic Identification: The Mud catshark is small, plain grey-brown in color, sometimes with dusky saddle bands and a light ventral side. Both dorsal fins are small. The base of the first dorsal fin is roughly over the pelvic fin insertions. The second dorsal fin is slightly larger than the first, and its origin is over the mid base of the anal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: They are oviparous, having 2 pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Mud Catshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. They are presumably not taken by fisheries.

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