Brier Shark, Deania calcea (Lowe 1839)

Other Names: Birdbeak Dogfish, Deepwater Dogfish, Dorian Grey, Dorian Grey Shark, Platypus Shark, Roughskin Dogfish, Shovelnose Spiny Dogfish, Thompsons Deepsea Dogfish, Thompson's Deepsea Dogfish, Thompsons Shark, Thompson's Shark

Brier Shark, Deania calcea. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A longnosed brownish-grey dogfish with a long-based first dorsal fin and no subcaudal keel.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Deania calcea in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2024,

Brier Shark, Deania calcea (Lowe 1839)

More Info


Known from off Coffs Harbour, NSW, to off Green Head, WA. The species occurs elsewhere in  the eastern Atlantic, southern Africa, New Zealand and Chile.


Feeds on fishes, squids and shrimps. In Australia, the Brier Shark commonly preys on myctophids (lanternfish), suggesting that this species feeds some distance above the bottom.


Females mature at 90 cm TL, and males mature at 80 cm TL. Females produce litters of 1-7 pups, which are born at a length of about 30 cm TL. 


Taken as bycatch in trawl, hook & gill net fisheries in Australia. Briar sharks are used for their liver oil and flesh. The livers are high in squalene.

Species Citation

Acanthidium calceus Lowe 1839, Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond. 3: 19. Type locality: off Madeira, Portugal.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Brier Shark, Deania calcea (Lowe 1839)


Bakes, M.J. & Nichols, P.D. 1995. Lipid, fatty acid and squalene composition of liver oil from six species of deep-water sharks collected in southern Australian waters. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 110B(1): 267-275.

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.

Daley, R., Stevens, J. & Graham, K. 2002. Catch analysis and productivity of the deepwater dogfish resource in southern Australia. Report by CSIRO Marine Research and NSW Fisheries to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. FRDC Project 1998/108.

Daley, R.K., Stevens, J.D., Last, P.R. & Yearsley, G.K. 2002. Field Guide to Australian Sharks & Rays. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 84 pp.

Ebert, D.A., Compagno, L.J.V. and 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. 1960. Studies on New Zealand Elasmobranchii. Part XI — Squaloids of the genera Deania, Etmopterus, Oxynotus and Dalatias in New Zealand waters. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88(3): 489-517 figs 1-8 pl. 26

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.

Lowe, R.T. 1839. A supplement to a synopsis of the fishes of Madeira. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 3: 1-20.

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Rochowski, B.E.A., Walker, T.I. & Day, R.W. 2015. Geographical variability in life-history traits of a midslope dogfish:  the brer shark Deania calceaJournal of Fish Biology 87(3): 728–747. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12756 Abstract

Stead, D.G. 1963. Sharks and Rays of Australian Seas. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 211 pp. 63 figs.

Stevens, J.D. 1994. Families Echinorhinidae, Squalidae, Oxynotidae, Parascyllidae, Orectolobidae. pp. 91-118 figs 28-73 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Stevens, J. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Deania calcea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. . Downloaded on 07 September 2015.

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.

Whitley, G.P. 1934. Notes on some Australian sharks. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 10(4): 180-200 figs 1-4 pls 27-29 (as Centrophorus kaikourae)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37020003

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:70-1470m (usually 600-1000m)


Max Size:120 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map