Northern Sawtail Shark, Figaro striatus Gledhill, Last & White 2008

Other Names: Northern Sawtail Catshark

Northern Sawtail Shark, Figaro striatus. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A very small pale brown catshark with dark pale-edged saddles separated by narrower, less distinct bars. The saddles rarely extend below the body midline. The Northern Sawtail Shark is only found off northeastern Australia.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Figaro striatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Dec 2023,

Northern Sawtail Shark, Figaro striatus Gledhill, Last & White 2008

More Info


Endemic to continental slope waters of the Coral Sea off northeastern Australia, from off Townsville to off Rockhampton, QLD.


Head short 17.2-19.6% TL, narrowly parabolic in dorsoventral view; eye small, positioned dorsolaterally, length 3.4-3.9% TL, 1.73-2.03 in snout; labial furrows well-developed, extending well beyond corners of mouth, lower furrow slightly longer than the upper furrow. Vertebrae 140-149, 35-38 monospondylous, 85-93 precaudal.
First dorsal fin slightly smaller than the second dorsal fin. Pelvic fins small, slender, length 8.8-11.3% TL, rear part strongly directed posterodorsally (forming a small lobe, enveloping partly the proximo-lateral margin of clasper), inner margin strongly convex forming a partial apron and connected to clasper dorsomedially near its base, soft tissue connecting pelvic fin insertion weak, not forming a prominent apron overlying ventral surface of tail. Anal-fin base 9.9-10.9% TL, 2.4-6.0 times anal-caudal distance, much longer than second dorsal-fin base; caudal peduncle elongate, anal-caudal space 1.6-4.2% TL. 
Crest of enlarged denticles on anterior dorsal caudal-fin margin extending from above origin of ventral caudal-fin lobe almost to mid-length of dorsal caudal-fin margin; crest of enlarged denticles originating at mid-point of caudal peduncle, extending to elevated part of ventral lobe.


In preservative: pale brown dorsally, with dark saddles and bars, lighter ventrally; pre-dorsally with about 4 larger saddles; saddles present below and between dorsal fins and extending onto caudal, these are rarely larger than eye diameter; larger saddles are pale edged, separated by narrower, less distinct bars; saddles rarely extending below the lateral midline.


The specific name striatus is from the Latin striatus meaning 'striped', in reference to the striped colour pattern of this species.

Species Citation

Figaro striatus Gledhill, Last & White, 2008, CSIRO Mar. Atmosph. Res. Pap. 022: 181, figs 1–3. Type locality: south of Saumarez Reef, Saumarez Plateau, QLD, 22°42’S, 154°05’E, depth 416-419 m. 


Dianne J. Bray

Northern Sawtail Shark, Figaro striatus Gledhill, Last & White 2008


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

Gledhill, D.C., Last, P.R. & White, W.T. 2008. Resurrection of the genus Figaro Whitley (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) with the description of a new species from northeastern Australia. 179–188 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.

Kyne, P.M. & Cavanagh, R.D. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Figaro striatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1. . Downloaded on 06 May 2015.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. (as Galeus sp B)

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37015034

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:300-420 m

Habitat:Bottom dweller

Max Size:42 cm TL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map