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:
Dianne J. Bray, Centrophorus squamosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Jun 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2003

Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus (Bonnaterre 1788)

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South-east NSW (32°40'S), VIC and TAS. Elsewhere in tropical and temperate waers with a discontinuous disttribution (North Atlantic, west Indian Ocean, New Zealand, Philippines and Japan).

Demersal 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.


Dianne J. Bray

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

Clarke, M.W., Connolly, P.L. & Bracken, J.J. 2001. Aspects of the reproduction of the deep water sharks Centroscymnus coelolepis and Centrophorus squamosus from west of Ireland and Scotland. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 81: 1019-1029.

Clarke, M.W., Connolly, P.L. & Bracken, J.J. 2002. Age estimation of the exploited deepwater shark Centrophorus squamosus from the continental slopes of the Rockall Trough and Porcupine Bank. Journal of Fish Biology 60: 501-514.

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.
Cox, G. & Francis, M. 1997. Sharks and rays of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch.

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.

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

Girard, M. & Du Buit, M.H. 1999. Reproductive biology of two deep-water sharks from the British Isles,Centroscymnus coelolepis and Centrophorus squamosus(Chondrichthyes: Squalidae). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 79: 923-931.

Girard, M., Rivalan, P. & Sinquin, G. 2000. Testis and sperm morphology in two deep-water squaloid sharks,Centroscymnus coelolepis andCentrophorus squamosusJournal of Fish Biology 57: 1575-1589.

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.

White, W.T. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Centrophorus squamosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. . Downloaded on 12 August 2014.

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 Vulnerable

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

Fishing:Fished commercially

Max Size:1.6 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map