Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks
Common Name– Ground Sharks
Common Name– Catsharks
Average Size and Length: They are born around 11 cm/4.3 inches. Mature males have measured at 35 cm/1.1 feet. Mature females have measured at 37 cm/12 feet. The maximum recorded was 42 cm/1.4 feet.
Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and arched.
Head: The head is broad and flattened. There are elongated lobate anterior nasal flaps. The mouth reaches past the front end of the eyes. The eyes are large and cat-like in appearance.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The New Zealand catshark can be found in New Zealand on or near the bottom of the upper slopes of New Zealand and Auckland Islands (44°S – 53°S) between 1,217-1,378 feet. There are some accounts of them as deep as 3,937 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.
Diet: They feed on bottom crustaceans.
Aesthetic Identification: The New Zealand catshark is fairly short. It has a light brown or grey body, which is paler ventrally. There is a line of white spots on the sides of the small sharks with white fin tips. There are dark bands on the caudal fin. There are 2 dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin base is over the pelvic fin bases. The second dorsa fin is larger. The anal fin is short and angular.
Biology and Reproduction: They are oviparous.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.
New Zealand Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.