Extremely rare catshark

The New Caledonia catshark or sometimes referred to as the Kanakorum catshark (Aulohalaelurus kanakorum) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae in the order Carcharhiniformes. It is known only from one specimen collected near southwestern New Caledonia in the western Pacific Ocean found around coral reefs. The holotype male measured 79 cm/2.6 feet.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Aulohalaelurus 

Species: kanakorum


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles

Order– Carcharhiniformes

Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: The holotype adult male measured 79 cm/2.6 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and arched. The teeth have 3-5 cusps with a long, sharp central cusp.

Head: The head is narrowly rounded and slightly flattened. The mouth reaches past the front end of the eyes. The eyes are cat-like.

Denticles: The skin is extremely thick.

Tail: The caudal fin is moderately short and broad.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The New Caledonia catshark can be found in the western Pacific in New Caledonia around coral reefs at 161 feet. They prefer tropical climates.

Aesthetic Identification: The New Caledonia catshark is a slender shark with a cylindrical elongated body. They are dark grey with a variegated color pattern of large, close-set blotches on the body and fins, surrounding numerous large white blotches. The fins are bordered white. The dorsal fins are about equal in size. The origin of the first dorsal fin is over the pelvic fin origins.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown, but possibly oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

New Caledonia Catshark Future and Conservation: They are presumably endemic and currently vulnerable. They are only known from the holotype and 2 photographs.  

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