Very poorly known shark of the northern Indian Ocean

The Ornate dogfish (Centroscyllium ornatum) is a poorly known shark belonging to the family Etmopteridae. It can be found in the northern Indian Ocean in a spotted range. There is a lot of area for research with the Ornate dogfish.


Family: Etmopteridae – Lantern Sharks

Genus: Centroscyllium 

Species: ornatum


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Etmopteridae

Common NameLantern Sharks




Average Size and Length: The mature lengths are uncertain. Immature sharks are known to be at least 30 cm/ 11.8 inches.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth of the Ornate dogfish is narrowly arched nearly half as high as it is wide, with comb-like teeth in both jaws. The teeth have narrow cusps and cusplets.

Head: The preoral snout is moderately long and is about half of the distance from the mouth to the pectoral origins.

Denticles: The dermal denticles are close-set and abundant. They are conical with hooked cusps.

Tail: The caudal peduncle moderately long in appearance.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Ornate dogfish can be found in the northern Indian Ocean in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. They are found over the upper continental slope near the seabed between 1,710-4,140 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The Ornate dogfish has a somewhat compressed, stout, blackish body and fins without any conspicuous markings. The first dorsal fin is low and rounded with a very elongated spine nearly as high as the second dorsal fin spine which reaches above the fin apex. The second dorsal fin is larger, with very long spine extending above the fin apex. There is no anal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown. Presumably ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Ornate Dogfish Future and Conservation: The Ornate dogfish is rare and there isn’t enough data to evaluate. They are not of interest to fisheries.

Ornate Dogfish Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.