The species was just discovered in 2019

The Pygmy False catshark (Planonasus indicus), also known as the Eastern Dwarf False catshark is a species of shark belonging to the family Pseudotriakidae. It lives in the Indian Ocean in the Arabian Sea. This species is one of two known members of its genus, the other being the Dwarf False catshark which also lives in the Indian Ocean, near Socotra. This is a new species, recognized in 2019.


Family: Pseudotriakidae – False Catsharks and Gollumsharks

Genus: Planonasus

Species: indicus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Pseudotriakidae

Common NameFalse Catsharks and Gollumsharks




Average Size and Length: Their length at birth is unknown. Males have been measured between 49-56 cm/1.6-1.8 feet. The length of females is unknown and not recorded yet. The maximum is more than likely longer than 56 cm/1.8 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The labial furrows are short. The mouth is angular and extends behind the eyes. There are a number of small teeth. There are just under 130 rows per jaw.

Head: The snout is short. It is bell-shaped from the dorsalventral view and when looking laterally, it is wedged shaped. It has elongated cat-like eyes with nictitating membranes with small spiracles behind them. There are short anterior nasal flaps.

Tail: The tail is soft and somewhat stalky.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Pygmy False catshark or Eastern Dwarf False catshark can be found in the northwestern Indian Ocean in the Arabian Sea off of Socotra Island and Maldives, possibly near Kochi, Kerala and off Sri Lanka. The other member of its genus is found off of Socotra Island. It can be found on the continental and insular slopes down to 3,675 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The Pygmy False catshark or Eastern Dwarf False catshark is an un-patterned dark grey-brown. It is a small shark. It has dark fins, a moderately stalky soft body and tail. The first dorsal fin is relatively short and sub-triangular. The second dorsal fin is higher.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Pygmy False Catshark or Eastern Dwarf False Catshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated.

Pygmy False Catshark or Eastern Dwarf False Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.