False Catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon Capella 1868

A False Catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon. Source: CSIRO Natioanl Fish Collection. License: CC BY Attribution

A large sluggish deep-sea shark with a long first dorsal fin, a small lower caudal fin lobe, a very large mouth with a wide gape and elongated cat-like eyes. The False Catshark is dark brown to greyish, and may have darker fin margins.

Video of a False Catshark in the Coral Sea off Queensland- at a depth of more than 1400 metres.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Pseudotriakis microdon in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1696

False Catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon Capella 1868

More Info


Recorded from off both the east and west coasts of Australia. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, although not yet recorded from the South Atlantic or Eastern Pacific. Mostly found on the continental and insular slopes at depths of 200-1,890 m, and very occasionally on the outer continental shelf.


Females grow to a length of about 3 metres, while males reach a maximum length of about 2.7 metres. 


Feeds mostly on bony fishes, also on other sharks, squid, octopus and crustaceans.


Aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous), with embryos feeding on yolk sac and other eggs produced by the mother, as well as on uterine milk. Females give birth to litters of 2-4 pups, that measure 70-140 cm TL.


Taken occasionally in deep-set longline fisheries and in deepwater bottom trawls.

Species Citation

Pseudotriakis microdon Capello, F. de B. 1868, J. Scienc. Math., Physic. Nat. 1(4): 316, pl. 5(1). Type locality: Setubal, Portugal.


Dianne J. Bray

False Catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon Capella 1868


Allen, G.R. & Cowan, M.A. 1995. First record of the false catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon, from Australian seas. Records of the Western Australian Museum 17: 235–236. PDF open access

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(2) 251-655 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V. 1998. Family Pseudotriakidae. 1296 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 2 687-1396 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp.

Kyne, P.M., Johnson, J.W., White, W.T. & Bennett, M.B. 2005. First records of the false catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon Capello, 1868, from the waters of eastern Australia and Indonesia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 51(2): 525-530.

Kyne, P.M., Kazunari Yano & White, W.T. (SSG Deepsea Chondrichthyan Workshop, November 2003) 2004. Pseudotriakis microdon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. . Downloaded on 31 May 2014.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

López, J.A., Ryburn, J.A., Fedrigo, O. & Naylor, G.J.P. 2006. Phylogeny of sharks of the family Triakidae (Carcharhiniformes) and its implications for the evolution of carcharhiniform placental viviparity. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 40: 50–60.

Tanuichi, T., Kobayashi, H. & Otake, T. 1984. Occurrence and reproductive mode of the false catshark. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 31(1): 88-92.

Tricas, T.C., McCosker, J.E. & Walker, T.I. 1997. In Taylor, L. (ed.) Sharks & Rays. Harper Collins. 288 pp.
Weigmann, S., M.F.W. Stehmann & R. Thiel. 2013. Planonasus parini n. g. and n. sp., a new genus and species of false cat sharks (Carchariniformes, Pseudotriakidae) from the deep northwestern Indian Ocean off Socotra Islands. Zootaxa 3609(2): 163-181.

Yano, K. 1992. Comments on the reproductive mode of the false cat shark Pseudotriakis microdon. Copeia 1992(2): 460–468.

Yano, K. & Musick, J.A. 1992. Comparison of morphometrics of Atlantic and Pacific specimens of the false catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon, with notes on stomach contents. Copeia 1992(3): 877–886.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37016001

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:200-1890 m

Habitat:Continental slope

Max Size:295 cm TL

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