Larger catshark with rough skin to the touch

The Roughskin catshark (Apristurus ampliceps) is a species of shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae found near Australia and New Zealand. This is a more recently described catshark (previously referred to as sp. D). It was first described in 2008 by Ryohei Sasahara, Keiichi Sato & Kazuhiro Nakaya. Some concern exists for this species, as its distribution includes some heavily fished areas, and deep-water demersal trawl fisheries are expanding in the region.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: ampliceps 


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Mature males have been measured at around 67 cm/2.2 feet. The maximum has been at least 86 cm/2.8 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is large. There are long labial furrows. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are about the same length. The teeth are large.

Head: The head is bulky and flattened. The snout is broad and elongated. The mouth extends well in front of the eyes. The eyes are small.

Denticles: The dermal denticles are widely spaced, making its skin rough to the touch.

Tail: The tail fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Roughskin catshark can be found in the Pacific in New Zealand and southern Australia. They can be found over the continental shelf between 2,756-4,528 feet. They are bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Roughskin catshark is large dark brownish to black with scattered paler spots and squiggles. There is a pale tip to the outer caudal fin. The first dorsal fin is slightly smaller than the second dorsal fin. The pectoral and pelvic fins are well separated. The anal fin is relatively short and rounded. It is separated from the tail fin by a small notch.

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

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Roughskin Catshark Future and Conservation: They are currently not a concern, but could quite possibly be rare and their range includes a lot of expanding fisheries.

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