Freckled Catshark, Apristurus sinensis Chu & Hu 1981

Other Names: South China Catshark

Freckled Catshark, Apristurus sinensis. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A dark brownish catshark with pale, loosely scattered flecks, greyish teeth, and translucent or black fin margins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Apristurus sinensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2024,

Freckled Catshark, Apristurus sinensis Chu & Hu 1981

More Info


Off Newcastle, New South Wales, to off Beachport, South Australia, including Tasmania, and SW of Esperance, Western Australia, to off Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea; also on the Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-Pacific: Madagascar, New Caledonia, Australia and New Zealand region.


Vertebrae 40–42 (monospondylous).
Snout moderately long, broad, length less than 4 times eye diameter and less than width, very flattened and bell-shaped anterior to nostrils; teeth very small, bristle-like, closely spaced, with distinct ridges and with 3–4 cusps, central cusps only slightly larger than adjacent cusps; denticles tricuspidate, closely spaced; 1st dorsal fin smaller than 2nd; anal fin triangular, low and long, its height much less than its base length; pectoral fins medium-sized, longer than head width near mouth.  


The reproductive mode is oviparous with females producing one egg per oviduct.


The species is named sinensis in reference to the type locality.

Species Citation

Apristurus sinensis Chu & Hu, in Chu, et al. 1981, Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica 12(2): 103, fig. 1. Type locality: South China Sea.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Freckled Catshark, Apristurus sinensis Chu & Hu 1981


Chu, Y.-T & Hu, A.-S. in Chu, Y.-T., Meng, Q.-W., Hu, A.-S & Li, S. 1981. Description of four new species, a new genus and a new family of elasmobranchiate fishes from deep sea of the South China Sea. Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica 12(2): 103-116 

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

Huveneers, C. & Duffy, C.A.J. 2015. Apristurus sinensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T44225A70709147. Accessed on 21 August 2023.

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

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

Nakaya, K., Sato, K. & Iglesias, S.P. 2008. Occurrence of Apristurus melanoasper from the south Pacific, Indian and South Atlantic Oceans (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae). pp. 61-74 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. 1)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37015014

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient


Habitat:Benthopelagic, continental slope

Max Size:75cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map