Medium sized, rough-skinned shark found in northeastern Taiwan

The Taiwan Gulper shark (Centrophorus niaukang) is a deep-water shark belonging to the family Centrophoridae. They have only been found off the northeastern coast of Taiwan Island. Medium sized and somewhat rough, they have been regularly fished.


Family: Centrophoridae – Gulper Sharks

Genus: Centrophorus 

Species: niaukang


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Centrophoridae

Common Name– Gulpher Sharks




Average Size and Length: The Taiwan Gulper shark is born between 1.1-1.5 feet. Mature males are anywhere between 3-3.6 feet. Females are typically between 4.3-4.6 feet. The holotype found was an adult female, 5.1 feet long. The maximum recorded length is 5.6 feet.

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: Holotype Information: Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute, TFRI 3612, 1540 mm adult female. Type Locality: Northeast coast of Taiwan (Province of China), 24° 48’N, 121° 54’E, at about 250 m depth.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth are bladelike and unicuspidate in the upper and lower jaws, with lowers much larger than uppers. The upper anterolateral teeth have erected to semioblique cusps.

Head: The Taiwan Gulper shark has a long and broad snout and parabolic. The preoral snout is somewhat less than the mouth width and much shorter than the distance from the mouth to pectoral origins.

Denticles: The skin of the Taiwan Gulper shark is fairly rough. The dermal denticles are widespread. They do not overlap. They are block-like. The dermal denticles are sessile-crowned at the bases without pedicels and teardrop shaped. The lateral denticles are strongly cuspidate. There are no lateral cusps on their posterior edges.

Tail: The caudal fin has a nearly straight posterior margin in adults and subadults. The lower lobe is slightly developed.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Taiwan Gulper shark has only been found off of northeastern Taiwan Island. It can be found on the outer continental shelves and upper slopes between a depth of 322-3,281 feet. Holotype was discovered at 820 feet.

Diet: They eat lobsters, bony fishes, squid, and chondrichthyans.

Aesthetic Identification: The Taiwan Gulper shark is dark grey to grey-brown dorsally and lighter ventrally. The fin webs are dusky in color. The first dorsal fin is low and long and the second dorsal fin is large and high. The base is about ¾’s the length of first dorsal base, and spine origin is over the inner margins of pelvic fins. The distance from first dorsal insertion to origin of second dorsal spine is about as long as tip of snout to pectoral insertions in adults and subadults. Both dorsal fins have large spines. The rear tips of the pectoral fins are broadly angular and extended slightly and that fall in front of the level of the first dorsal spine. The inner margins are considerably shorter than distance from second dorsal spine to caudal origin. There is no anal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: The Taiwan Gulper shark is ovoviviparous. They have anywhere from 1-6 pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Taiwan Gulper Shark Future and Conservation: The Taiwan Gulper shark is regularly fished with line gear off Taiwan for its large liver with oil rich in squalene.

Taiwan Gulper Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.