Prickly Dogfish, Oxynotus bruniensis (Ogilby 1893)

Other Names: Prickley Dogfish, Rough Shark

Prickly Dogfish, Oxynotus bruniensis. Source: Robin McPhee & Mark McGrouther / NORFANZ Founding Parties. License: All rights reserved

An unusual deep-sea shark covered in large extremely rough denticles - hence the common name. The body is deep, hump-backed and almost triangular in cross-section with a flattened underside, a small head with a short, blunt snout, and two sail-like dorsal fins, each preceded by a robust spine. Prickly Dogfish are uniformly greyish-brown with paler margins on the dorsal and caudal fins.

Prickly Dogfish are uncommon and are occasionally taken as bycatch in commercial trawls.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Oxynotus bruniensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Sep 2023,

Prickly Dogfish, Oxynotus bruniensis (Ogilby 1893)

More Info


Widespread in southern Australia from southern Queensland to the western part of the Great Australian Bight, Western Australia. The species also occurs in the Tasman Sea and throughout New Zealand. 


Maximum size is about 72 cm TL (total length).


Carnivore. Finucci et al. (2016) found that Prickly Dogfish feed exclusively on the egg capsules of chimaeras.


Little is known of the biology. Prickly Dogfish are aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous), and females appear to give birth to 7-8 young. The pups are born at a length of about 24 cm. Estimated size-at-maturity is 54·7 cm LT in males and 64·0 cm LT in females. Three gravid females (65·0, 67·5 and 71·2 cm LT) were observed, all with eight embryos. Size-at-birth was estimated to be 25–27 cm LT (Finucci et al. 2016). 


Occasionally taken as bycatch in commercial bottom trawl fisheries.

Species Citation

Centrina bruniensis, Ogilby 1893, Rec. Aust. Mus. 2(5): 62. Type locality: On the beach at Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Prickly Dogfish, Oxynotus bruniensis (Ogilby 1893)


Amaoka, K., K. Matsuura, T. Inada, M. Takeda, H. Hatanaka & K. Okada (eds). 1990. Fishes collected by the R/V Shinkai Maru around New Zealand. Japan Marine Fishery Resource Research Center. 410 pp.

Cavanagh, R.D., Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L. Musick, J.A. & Bennett, M.B. (eds) 2003. The Conservation Status of Australian Chondrichthyans: Report of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group Australia and Oceania Regional Red List Workshop. The University of Queensland, School of Biomedical Sciences, Brisbane, Australia. x + 170pp

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. 

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

Dunn MR, Stevens DW, Forman JS, Connell A (2013) Trophic Interactions and Distribution of Some Squaliforme Sharks, Including New Diet Descriptions for Deania calcea and Squalus acanthias. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59938. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059938

Francis, M.P. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Oxynotus bruniensis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. . Downloaded on 14 August 2013.

Finucci, B., Bustamante, C., Jones, E.G. & Dunn, M.R. 2016. Reproductive biology and feeding habits of the prickly dogfish Oxynotus bruniensis. Journal of Fish Biology doi:10.1111/jfb.13116

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.

Glover, C.J.M. in Gomon, M.F., C.J.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. 992 pp.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. 513 pp + plates.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. 2nd ed. CSIRO Publishing, Australia. 644 pp.
Morton, A. 1894. Description of a new species of shark. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1893: 211-213 (p. 211, as Centrina bruniensis)

McCulloch, A.R. 1914. Report on some fishes obtained by the F.I.S. Endeavour on the coasts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South and South-Western Australia. Part 2. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 2(3): 77-165 figs 1-15 pls 13-34

Ogilby, J.D. 1893. Description of a new shark from the Tasmanian coast. Records of the Australian Museum 2(5): 62-63. Ref at BHL

Roberts, C.D. 1991. Fishes of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand: a trawl survey and summary of the ichthyofauna. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 25(1): 1-19. 

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.

Waite, E.R. 1907. A basic list of the fishes of New Zealand. Records of the Canterbury Museum 1(1): 1-39.

Waite, E.R. 1921. Illustrated catalogue of the fishes of South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2(1): 1-208 293 figs pl. 1

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. 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.

Yano K. & K. Matsuura. 2002. A review of the genus Oxynotus (Squaliformes, oxynotidae). Bulletin of the National Science Museum, Tokyo, Series A 28(2): 109-117.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37021001

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:45-1070 m


Max Size:72 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map