A shark of Panama with a crest of dorsal denticles

The Panama Ghost catshark (Apristurus stenseni) is a little-known shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. The Panama Ghost catshark is only found off Panama, between 9°N and 2°N. They could possibly be oviparous, but not much is known about this shark.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: stenseni


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: The maximum length could possibly be as long as 46 cm/1.5 feet in adult males.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is extremely large. The labial furrows are very long. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are about the same length. The teeth are long, straight and sharp with 3-5 cusps.

Head: The head is broad and flattened and the snout is elongated. The nostrils are narrow and widely set. The mouth extends far in front of the eyes. The eyes are very small and cat-like in appearance. 

Denticles: There is a prominent dorsal crest of dermal denticles.

Tail: The caudal fin is long and low.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Panama Ghost catshark can be found in the East Pacific in Panama. They can be found on the continental slope between 3,002-3,199 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Panama Ghost Catshark is slender with a blackish body with no obvious markings. The gill slits are very wide. They are wider than the adult eye length. The dorsal fins are roughly equal in size. The first dorsal fin originates over the pelvic midbases. The distance between the pectoral and pelvic fin bases is much less than the preorbital snout length. The anal fin is moderately high, angular and rounded. Its length is greater by 3 to 4 times the height. It is separated from the caudal fin by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown. They could possibly be oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown. They could possibly be nocturnal.

Panama Ghost Catshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated.

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