Rare shark with a large sail off of New Guinea

The Sailback houndshark (Gogolia filewoodi) is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae, and the only member of the genus Gogolia. It is found in the deep waters of continental shelf off southern Papua New Guinea. Only one specimen has been found, a pregnant female, at a depth of 240 feet. It measured 74 cm/2.4 feet in length. The reproduction of this shark is ovoviviparous.


Family: Triakidae, – Houndsharks

Genus: Gogolia

Species: filewoodi


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Triakidae

Common NameHoundsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born at around 22 cm/8.6 inches. Mature females have been measured at 74 cm/2.4 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is large and arched. The teeth are small and blade-like. They are broad with an angled cusp and some serrations on the side.

Head: It has a long preoral snout, 1.6-1.7 times the width of the mouth. The eyes are long and elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Sailback houndshark can be found in the southern Pacific, only found in southern New Guinea (2°S – 5°S). The only known specimen was found in from 240 feet on the continental shelf probably near the bottom in presumably deep water. They are demersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Sailback houndshark is a small shark. It is grey-brown in color. It is distinguished by its very large triangular first dorsal fin. It is the length of the caudal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: They are ovoviviparous. The pregnant female found was carrying 2 pups.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Sailback Houndshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. Only one specimen was found. They are presumed rare and endemic.

Sailback Houndshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.