False Catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon Capello 1868

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

A large sluggish deepwater 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:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Pseudotriakis microdon in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1696

False Catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon Capello 1868

More Info


Recorded from off Cape Leeuwin, south Western Australia, and off Calder Reef in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, although not yet recorded from the South Atlantic or Eastern Pacific. Most records are from the Northern Hemisphere.
Usually inhabits continental and insular slopes, including seamounts, ridges and rises, troughs and very deep reefs; rarely occurs on the 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.


Although of no interest to fisheries, the species is occasionally taken 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.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

False Catshark, Pseudotriakis microdon Capello 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. See ref online, 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.  

Ebert, D.A., Fowler, S. & Compagno, L. 2013. Sharks of the World: A Fully Illustrated Guide. Wild Nature Press, Plymouth, United Kingdom.

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. Ref available online, open access

Kyne, P.M., Yano , K. & White, W.T. 2015. Pseudotriakis microdon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T44566A2995045. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T44566A2995045.en. Downloaded on 20 December 2018.

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.

Stewart, A.L. & Duffy, C.A.J. 2015. 15 Family Pseudotriakidae, pp. 90-92 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

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 Least Concern

Depth:100-1890 m

Habitat:Continental slope

Max Size:296 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map