Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus (Bonnaterre 1788)

Other Names: Deepsea Spiny Dogfish, Nilsons Deepsea Dogfish, Nilson's Deepsea Dogfish

A Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus. Source: CSIRO National Fish Collection. License: CC BY Attribution

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Centrophorus squamosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2003

Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus (Bonnaterre 1788)

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South-east New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Elsewhere, the species is widespread with a patchy distribution in the North Atlantic and Indo-west Pacific oceans.

Demersal and benthopelagic on continental slopes at depths between 230 and 2,400 m, also pelagic in the upper 1,250 m of oceanic waters in depths to 4,000 m.


The species is aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous) with 5 to 8 young born at a length between 35 and 43 cm TL. Males mature at approx. 100 cm TL, and females at approx. 125 cm TL.


An important component of deep-water fisheries in parts of its range, although the catches in Australia and Oceania are relatively low and are not  a significnt component of the squaloid catch in both southeastern Australia and New Zealand.

Species Citation

Squalus squamosus Bonnaterre, 1788, Tableau Encyclopédique et Méthodique des trois Règnes de la Nature : 12. Type locality: north-east Atlantic.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus (Bonnaterre 1788)


Bonnaterre, J.P. 1788. Tableau Encyclopédique et Méthodique des trois Règnes de la Nature. Ichthyologie. Paris. pp. 1-215, 102 pls

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(1) pp. 1-249.

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

Compagno, L.J.V. & Niem, V.H. 1998. Squalidae. In: K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds). FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 2. Cephalopods, crustaceans, holothurians and sharks. FAO, Rome, pp. 1213-1232.

Ebert, D.A., Compagno, L.J.V. & Cowley, P.D. 1991. A preliminary investigation of the feeding ecology of squaloid sharks off the west coast of southern Africa. South African Journal of Marine Science 12: 601-609.

Finucci, B., Bineesh, K.K., Cheok, J., Cotton, C.F., Dharmadi, Kulka, D.W., Neat, F.C., Pacoureau, N., Rigby, C.L., Tanaka, S. & Walker, T.I. 2020. Centrophorus squamosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T41871A68614964. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T41871A68614964.en. Accessed on 03 July 2023.

Garrick, J.A.F. 1959. Studies on New Zealand Elasmobranchii. Part VII — The identity of specimens of Centrophorus from New Zealand. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 86(1,2): 127-141 figs 1-5

Graham, K.J., Andrew, N.L. & Hodgson, K.E. 2001. Changes in the relative abundances of sharks and rays on Australian South East Fishery trawl grounds after twenty years of fishing. Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 549-561.

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

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.
Moura, T., E. Jones, M.W. Clarke, C.F. Cotton, P. Crozier, et al. 2014. Large-scale distribution of three deep-water squaloid sharks: Integrating data on sex, maturity and environment. Fisheries Research 157: 47–61.

Thompson, E.F. 1930. New records of the genera Centrophorus and Hoplichthys in New Zealand. Records of the Canterbury Museum 3(4): 275-279 figs 42-44 (described as Centrophorus nilsoni, type locality off Kaikoura, New Zealand.

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.

White, W.T., Ebert, D.A. & Compagno, L.J.V. 2008. Description of two new species of gulper sharks, genus Centrophorus (Chondrichthyes: Squaliformes: Centrophoridae) from Australia. pp. 1-21 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 http://hdl.handle.net/102.100.100/118353?index=1

White, W.T., Ebert, D.A. & Naylor, G.J.P., Ho, H.-C., et al. 2013. Revision of the genus Centrophorus (Squaliformes: Centrophoridae): Part 1- Redescription of Centrophorus granulosus (Bloch & Schneider), a senior synonym of C. acus Garman and C. niaukang Teng. Zootaxa 3752(1): 35-72. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3752.1.5

Whitley, G.P. 1940. The Fishes of Australia. Part 1. The sharks, rays, devil-fish, and other primitive fishes of Australia and New Zealand. Sydney : Roy. Zool. Soc. N.S.W. 280 pp. 303 figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37020009

Conservation:IUCN Endangered

Depth:230-2400 m (870-950 m Australia)

Fishing:Fished commercially

Max Size:1.6 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map