Small shark found off of Queensland

The Pale Spotted catshark (Asymbolus pallidus), is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae found off Queensland, at depths of between 886-1,312 feet. Its length is up to 1.5 feet. It is a pale yellowish color with even dark brown spots.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Asymbolus

Species: pallidus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Hatchlings have been measured at 19 cm/7.5 inches. Mature males have been measured at 32 cm/ foot. The maximum recorded is 46 cm/1.5 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: There are short labial furrows along the jaw and the upper teeth are exposed. The teeth are ridged, with 5 cusps.

Head: The head is short and slightly flattened. The snout is short and thick. There is a narrow ridge below the eye. The preoral length is relatively long.

Tail: The caudal fin is short and broad.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Pale Spotted catshark can be found in northern Australia around the Queensland area on the bottom continental shelf between 886-1,312 feet. They are considered bathypelagic.

Aesthetic Identification: The Pale Spotted catfish is small, pale yellowish with apparent dark brown spots that are even in size. These spots are absent from the ventral side and beneath the eyes. There are no distinct saddles, bands or white spots. There are usually a pair of spots in front of each dorsal fin, which are set far back behind the pelvic fins. The posterior margin of the first dorsal fin is 0.59-0.69 times its base. There is one spot at the center of each dorsal fin base. The inner pelvic fin margins are fused into an apron over the adult male claspers. The anal fin is short and angular.

Biology and Reproduction: Mostly unknown but possibly oviparous. The monospondylous centra count is between 34-36.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Pale Spotted Catshark Future and Conservation: They are currently of least concern. They are highly unlikely to be caught by commercial fisheries.

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