Roughskin Catshark, Apristurus ampliceps Sasahara, Sato & Nakaya 2008

Other Names: Naked Catshark, Roundfin Catshark

Holotype of the Roughskin Catshark, Apristurus ampliceps, NMNZ P.27063, mature male 826 mm TL. Source: Fig. 1B, in Sasahara et al. (2008) CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 022: 93-104. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A small dark brown to black catshark covered in irregular, scattered paler flecks and squiggle-marks, a whitish caudal-fin tip, and a relatively large head.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Apristurus ampliceps in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Roughskin Catshark, Apristurus ampliceps Sasahara, Sato & Nakaya 2008

More Info


Off Terrigal, New South Wales, to the South Tasman Rise south of Tasmania, and west to off Busselton, Western Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand.


Vertebrae (33–36 monospondylous)
Snout long, broad, length less than 4 times eye diameter and less than its width, slightly flattened and bell-shaped anterior to nostrils; teeth large, widely spaced, mostly with 3 cusps (but can have 5–7 near back of jaw); denticles mostly single-cusped, very widely-spaced; outer margin of anal fin broadly rounded; pectoral fins small.


Little is known of the biology of this species. Males mature at about 78 cm TL and females may mature at 68 cm TL.


The specific name ampliceps is from the Latin amplus (= large) and caput (= head), in reference to the large head of this species.

Species Citation

Apristurus ampliceps Sasahara, Sato & Nakaya 2008, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 022: 93, Figs. 1-5, 8, 14. Type locality: Off Urry Bank, New Zealand, 44°56'S, 174°06'E, depth 1052-1105 m.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Roughskin Catshark, Apristurus ampliceps Sasahara, Sato & Nakaya 2008


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

Ferrón Jiménez, H., Paredes-Aliaga, M.V., Martinez-Perez, C. & Botella, H. 2018. Bioluminescent-like squamation in the galeomorph shark Apristurus ampliceps (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii). Contributions to Zoology 87(3): 187–196.

Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Lisney, T.J. 2015. Apristurus ampliceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T42701A68608709. Accessed on 17 August 2023.

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

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

Sasahara, R., Sato, K. & Nakaya, K. 2008. A new species of deepwater catshark, Apristurus ampliceps sp. nov. (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae), from New Zealand and Australia. pp. 93-104 in Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds). Descriptions of new Australian chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 022: 1-358

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. (as Apristurus sp. 3)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37015017

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:840-1500 m

Habitat:Continental slope

Max Size:87cm TL

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