Southern Dogfish, Centrophorus zeehaani White, Ebert & Compagno 2008

Other Names: Endeavour Dogfish, Endeavour Dogs, Endeavour Shark, Little Gulper Shark

Preserved holotype of the Southern Dogfish, Centrophorus zeehaani. CSIRO H 6628–05, adult male, from SW of Coffin Bay, South Australia. Source: Fig. 8A in White et al. (2008) CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 022: 1-21. License: All rights reserved

A small uniformly light greyish-brown deepwater shark, which may be darker above and paler on the belly. Juveniles have dark posterior margins on the dorsal fins and the tail, which fade in intensity in adults. Southern Dogfish have greenish eyes, and a relatively short and bulky snout compared with other gulper shark species.
A 24 hour feeding model for Southern Dogfish (Centrophorus zeehaani), on the continental slope off the coast of South Australia.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Centrophorus zeehaani in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jan 2021,

Southern Dogfish, Centrophorus zeehaani White, Ebert & Compagno 2008

More Info


Continental slope of southern Australia from off Forster, New South Wales, to off Bunbury, Western Australia, including Tasmania, in depths of 208–701 m, but usually in depths below 400 m.


Length of pre-second dorsal 62.8-64.8% TL, 8.3-9.8 times dorsal-caudal space; length of pre-first dorsal 28.3-30.7% TL; interdorsal space 20.0-23.7% TL, 3.0-3.5 times the dorsal-caudal space; dorsal-caudal space 6.4-7.9% TL, 4.2-4.7 in pectoral-pelvic space; long and moderately robust head, its length 23.3-24.3% TL, 2.5-2.9 times mouth width and its width 11.8-13.1% TL, 4.9-5.4 in pre-second dorsal length, width at anterior of nostrils 5.5-6.3% TL; moderately long snout, its pre-oral length 9.4-10.1% TL, 1.6-1.9 times head height at anterior of mouth, 1.0-1.2 times mouth width; horizontal preorbital length 5.6-6.3% TL; horizontal prenarial length 3.4-4.2% TL); large mouth, its width 8.3-9.6% TL. 

Moderately sized pectoral fin, its anterior margin 11.4-12.6% TL, 2.3-2.8 times base length; large caudal fin, its dorsal caudal margin 17.9-20.8% TL; 2.6-2.9 times dorsal-caudal space; moderately-sized first dorsal fin, its height 6.0-7.0% TL, with a relatively robust spine, its base width 0.9-1.2% TL. 

Adults of both sexes with upper teeth upright, only slightly oblique laterally, different shape, and much smaller than lower teeth; juveniles with more oblique cusps, but not strongly oblique; 37-45/30-33 tooth row count (based on non-type skeletal specimens, n=8); flank denticles are flat, block-like, not overlapping, scalloped edges; 114-117 (mean 115.4) total vertebral centra, 54-56 (55.2) monospondylous precaudal centra; 28-31 (29.4) diplospondylous precaudal centra; 84-86 (84.7) precaudal centra; 31 (30-32) diplospondylous caudal centra.


Males 91.0 cm TL; females 102.7 cm TL.


The dorsal fins of juveniles have a distinct blackish margin extending from the mid-anterior margin to near the free rear tip, while in adults have a less distinct, but obvious, dark margin.


Gulper sharks undertake day-night (diel) migrations across their depth range from relatively deep daytime residence depths (1000 m) to shallower night time feeding depths (to 200 m). Feeds mainly on fishes, crustaceans and squid - mostly on mesopelagic fishes (Family Myctophidae) and squid. Migrates up gullies on the continental slope to feed at night on mesopelagic fishes such as Lampanyctodes hectoris which have migrated from deeper waters.


Species in genus Centrophorus are vulnerable to over-exploitation. They are long-lived, late to mature and have small litters. Females are aplacentally viviparous, with pups acquiring nutrition via large external yolk sacs. One or two pups are produced per pregnancy, and are born at approximately 35 cm in length


Taken as incidental by-catch in commercial fisheries in southern Australia - in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery.


Southern Dogfish are late to mature and have low fecundity. Gulper sharks were targeted from the 1960s with the industry peaking in the 1990s. Populations were severely reduced due to this fishing pressure in both state and Commonwealth-managed commercial fisheries operating on the upper-slope. Gulper sharks are now only taken as incidental bycatch.


The Southern Dogfish was previously misidentified as Centrophorus uyato.

Species Citation

The species is named zeehaani after the commercial vessel FV Zeehaan from which the first specimens of this species from Tasmanian waters were collected in 1979 during the first survey to map and explore uncharted grounds.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Southern Dogfish, Centrophorus zeehaani White, Ebert & Compagno 2008


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. (p. 45, as Centrophorus uyato)

Daley, R., Appleyard, S.A. & Koopman, M. 2012. Genetic catch verification to support recovery plans for deepsea gulper sharks (genus Centrophorus, family Centrophoridae) – and Australian example using the 16S gene. Marine and Freshwater Research 63: 708-714.

Daley, R., Hobday, A.J. & Semmens, J.M. 2019. Simulation-based evaluation of reserve network performance for Centrophorus zeehaani (Centrophoridae): a protected deep-sea gulper shark. ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsz087,

Daley, R.K., Williams, A., Green, M., Barker, B. & Brodie, P. 2015. Can marine reserves conserve vulnerable sharks in the deep sea? A case study of Centrophorus zeehaani (Centrophoridae), examined with acoustic telemetry. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 115: 127-136. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2014.05.017

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) (s266B) Listing Advice for Centrophorus zeehaani (southern dogfish) PDF

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

Graham, K.J. & Daley, R.K. 2011. Distribution, reproduction and population structure of three gulper sharks (Centrophorus, Centrophoridae) in south-east Australian waters. Marine and Freshwater Research 62: 583-595. doi:10.1071/MF10158

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

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. (as Centrophorus uyato)

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Macbeth, W.G., Vandenberg, M. & Graham, K.J. 2008. Identifying Sharks and Rays; A guide to Commercial Fishers. Sydney : New South Wales Department of Primary Industry 71 pp.

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. (as Centrophorus uyato)

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. (as Centrophorus uyato)

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. PDF available online, open access

White, W.T., Ebert, D.A., Naylor, G.J.P., Ho, H.-C., Clerkin, P., Veríssimo, A. & Cotton, C.F. 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.

Whitely, R. 2007. Using dorsal spines to age the Australian Dogfish, Centrophorus harrissoni and Centrophorus uyato. Masters Thesis. University of Wales, Bangor. 73 pp. (as Centrophorus uyato)

Wienerroither, R.M., Bjelland, O., Bachmann, L. & Junge, C. 2015. Northernmost record of the little gulper shark Centrophorus uyato in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean, with taxonomical notes on Centrophorus zeehaani. Journal of Fish Biology Online early DOI: 10.1111/jfb.12602

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37020011


Conservation:EPBC Act Conservation Dependent

Depth:208-700 m

Max Size:112 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map