A more recent discovered shark previously identified incorrectly

The Western Gulper shark (Centrophorus westraliensis) is a shark belonging to the family Centrophoridae. It is a little-known shark just discovered in 2008. The species had previously been identified as a variant of the Dumb Gulper shark, however was differentiated based on morphology.


Family: Centrophoridae – Gulper Sharks

Genus: Centrophorus 

Species: westraliensis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Centrophoridae

Common Name– Gulpher Sharks




Average Size and Length: The maximum recorded length is of a female 90.9 cm or 3 feet. They are thought to be born around 1 foot.

Average Weight: No holotype record.  

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: The first description of the Western Gulper shark was made in 2008 by William Toby White, a researcher at CSIRO in Australia, David A. Ebert, a researcher at the Pacific Shark Research Center in Moss Landing, California, and Leonard J.V. Compagno, a researcher at the Shark Research Center of the Iziko Museums. Their accounts are here.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is large; its width is between 7.6–7.8% of the total length. The females and one immature male have upper teeth strongly oblique. They are similar in shape, but much smaller than lower teeth. In the holotype, the teeth count was 38/29.

Head: The Western Gulper shark has a long and somewhat robust head and has a length of between 23.2-24.7% of the total length. It is around 3.1- 3.2 times mouth width, which is between 11.7–12.8% of the total length. The width at the anterior of the nostrils is between 7.1-7.6% of the total length. The snout is long with a preoral length of between 10.9-12.4% of the total length. It is between 2.0-2.2 times the head height at the anterior of the mouth. It is 1.4-1.6 times mouth width. The horizontal preorbital length is between 7.0-7.8% of the total length. The horizontal prenarial length is between 4.5-4.9% of the total length.

Denticles: The adult flank dermal denticles are flat and non-overlapping, with scalloped edges.

Tail: The caudal fin is large; its dorsal caudal margin is between 17.4-20.2% of the total length. It is between 2.6-2.9 times the dorsal-caudal space.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Western Gulper shark can be found in the eastern Indian Ocean around Western Australia as well as Indonesia and islands in the southern Indian Ocean. They are considered to be bathydemersal in tropical climate continental slopes at a depth range between 2,021-2,460 feet.

Diet: Unknown.

Ram-Suction Index: Not evaluated.

Aesthetic Identification: The color if the Western Gulper shark is light grey to grey brown on top and lighter underneath. The length of the pre-second dorsal fin is between 63.8-64.9% of the total length. It is between 8.8-9.7 times the dorsal-caudal space. The length of the pre-first dorsal fin is 31.3-32.7% of the total length. The interdorsal space is between 20.3-21.5% of the total length. It is between 2.8-3.1 times dorsal-caudal space. The dorsal-caudal space is between 6.7-7.3% of the total length. It is between 4.4-4.9 in pectoral-pelvic space. The pectoral fins are large the anterior margin is between 12.9-14.2% of the total length. It is between 2.6-2.8 times the base length. The pectoral fin rear tips are narrowly angular and elongated. The first dorsal fin is of moderate size. Its height is between 5.5-6.4% of the total length. The spine is strong with a base width of between 1.1-1.2% of the total length. The dorsal fins of the juveniles have a distinct blackish oblique blotch anteriorly and a white blotch on the upper posterior margin. In adults there is a less distinct dark blotch which is usually still apparent in fresh specimens and with white blotch restricted to a narrow white posterior margin which can be indistinct in larger preserved specimens.

Biology and Reproduction: Presumably ovoviviparous. The total vertebral centra; 55-57 (55.8) monospondylous precaudal centra; 29-33 (31) diplospondylous precaudal centra; 85-88 (86.8) precaudal centra; 27-30 (28.5) diplospondylous caudal centra.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Speed: Not evaluated.

Western Gulper Shark Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate this species.

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