This shark has the ability to fine-tune its neutral buoyancy

The Salamander shark or Salamander catshark (Parmaturus pilosus) is a catshark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. It inhabits a range from Japan and the East China Sea, on the upper to middle continental slope at depths of 1,175-2,936 feet. They are plain reddish dorsally and counter-shaded whiteish ventrally, and have high levels of squalene in their livers. 


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Parmaturus 

Species: pilosus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Immature males have been measured at 56 cm/1.8 feet. Females have been measured between 59-64 cm/1.9-2.1 feet. The maximum is at least 64 cm/2.1 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The top and bottom teeth typically have between 5-7 sharp cusps with the surrounding cusplets small and pointed, and only slightly smaller than the middle cusp. They are burr-like.

Head: The snout is moderately long and blunt. The anterior nasal flaps are elongated and narrowly lobate. There are ridges under the eyes.

Denticles: There is a conspicuous crest of saw-like enlarged dermal denticles along the top of the tail, and a short inconspicuous crest on the preventral caudal margin.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Salamander shark or Salamander catshark can be found in the northwest Pacific in Japan in southeastern Honshu and Riu-Kyu Islands, and in China and Taiwan (35°N – 32°N). They can be found on the upper continental and insular slopes between 1,175-2,936 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Salamander shark or Salamander catshark has a soft, flabby body that is plain looking. It is reddish above and whiteish ventrally. The fin webs are darker. The gills are not greatly enlarged. The first dorsal fin is about as large as the second dorsal fin, with its origin just about opposite of the pelvic origins. The second dorsal fin is much smaller than the anal fin, with its insertion just about opposite of the anal fin insertion.

Biology and Reproduction: They are more than likely oviparous. They do have a large amount of squalene in their livers, which is more than likely used to maintain neutral buoyancy.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Salamander Shark or Salamander Catshark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. They are a potential bycatch of trawl fisheries operating within its range.

Salamander Shark or Salamander Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.