Small deep-water shark rarely seen from the cold depths below

The White Ghost catshark (Apristurus aphyodes) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae found in deep water in the northeast Atlantic. They are known from only a few, limited number of specimens. Little is known about these cold water, deep water sharks. 


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: aphyodes


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Mature males and females have been measured between 40-47 cm/1.3-1.5 feet. The longest recorded was 54 cm/1.8 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and arched. There are very long labial furrows with the uppers reaching the upper symphysis and the lowers just about as long as the uppers. The teeth are small, sharp and pointed straight.

Head: The head is broad and flattened with an elongated snout. The nostrils are long. The mouth extends well in front of the eyes.

Tail: The caudal fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The White Ghost catshark can be found in the northeast Atlantic on the Atlantic slope from Iceland to northern Bay of Biscay. They can be found over the deep slope between 3,327-5,906 feet possibly on the soft bottom.

Aesthetic Identification: The White Ghost catshark is pale grey with slightly darker grey edges to some fins. The body is slender and cylindrical. The first dorsal fin base is over or behind the pelvic fin bases and is about as large as the second. The anal fin is large, moderately high and short. It is separated from the tail by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown. Reproduction is currently unknown, but some suggest oviparous, but this is not confirmed.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

White Ghost Catshark Future and Conservation: They are currently of least concern. They have been caught as bycatch by bottom trawlers.

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