Common name: Bramble sharks



Large robust sharks with 5 gill slits, all positioned in front of the pectoral fins, a depressed head, two small dorsal fins, both far back on the body, the first arising behind the pelvic- fin origin, large pelvic fins near the rear of body, no anal fin and a strongly asymmetrical tail with a large upper lobe and a poorly developed lower lobe that lacks a notch beneath the tip. 

Bramble sharks are named for their large thorn-like denticles.

The teeth in both jaws are similar in having a large central blade-like cusp and up to 3 small cusps on either side (juveniles with a single cusp).

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Bramble sharks, ECHINORHINIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

More Info

Family Taxonomy

A small family with two species, both found in Australian waters.

Family Distribution

Worldwide in subtropical and temperate waters of the continental shelf and continental slope. Bramble sharks are benthopelagic, living near the bottom usually in deep waters.

Family Description

Distinctive sharks with two small dorsal fins posteriorly on the body, no anal fin and large pointed denticles on the skin. They are ovoviviparous and . Maximum length reached is 4 m.

Family Size

Reach lengths of 2.6-4 m.

Family Reproduction

Species are ovoviviparous - the young are born live after developing from eggs that hatch within the uterus.


Dianne J. Bray


Compagno, L.J.V. & Niem, V.H. 1998. Hexanchidae, Echinorhinidae, Squalidae. pp. 1208-1232 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.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls

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

White, W. 2008. Shark Families Heterodontidae to Pristiophoridae. pp. 32-100 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.