Pale Catshark

Belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae, the pale catshark is a rare species of ground shark.

Pale Catshark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Carcharhiniformes
Family Scyliorhinidae
Genus Apristurus
Scientific Name Apristurus sibogae


The only type specimen caught was a juvenile shark that measured 8.3 inches. There is a non-availability of enough data about their size.

They have a white or reddish-white body.

The head of these sharks is broad and ends in a flattened, narrow, and pointed snout. They even have a pair of small cat-like eyes. The longest of their gill slits is similar in length to their eyes.

Their mouth is expanded with long labial furrows at the corners. They have tiny, sharp teeth on both their upper and lower jaws.

The pectoral fins in these sharks are large, while the pelvic fins hang low and are relatively smaller. The first dorsal fin is way shorter than the second and originates behind the insertion of the pelvic fin. Both the dorsal fins are set far back. They have an angular and elongated anal fin separated by a small notch from the tall, narrow tail fin.

Where do they live

The only specimen ever caught was found at 2149 feet on the Makassar Strait slope. The pale catshark inhabits the western central Pacific Ocean.
They are bathydemersal fish, i.e., they live, hunt, and feed in underwater depths below 650 feet.



These sharks feed on bony fishes and tiny invertebrates such as octopuses and squid.


They follow an oviparous mode of reproduction where females lay paired eggs. These eggs hatch to give birth to live young pups. The pre-developing embryos derive nourishment from the egg yolk.

Interactions with humans

Little information is available about these sharks, with all known details received from the holotype specimen. There are no records of them attacking humans.
The IUCN lists these sharks as a ‘Least Concern’ species.

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