Owston's Dogfish, Centroscymnus owstonii Garman 1906

Other Names: Black Shark, Deepwater Dogfish, Owstons Dogfish, Owston's Spiny Dogfish, Roughskin Dogfish, Smallspine Dogfish, Smallspine Shark

Owston's Dogfish, Centroscymnus owstonii. Source: CSIRO National Fish Collection. License: CC BY Attribution


Notable for its smooth-skinned appearance and uniformly dark, black-brown skin. Centroscymnus owstonii is a stout and widespread dogfish.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Wood, D.R. 2018, Centroscymnus owstonii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3500

Owston's Dogfish, Centroscymnus owstonii Garman 1906

More Info


Off Cape Hawke, NSW (ca. 32°13'S) to off Exmouth Gulf, WA; temperate, discontinuous (west Pacific, New Zealand and Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic).


A Stout, dark black or brown dogfish. Short slender dorsal fin spines with only the tips protruding through the skin. First dorsal fin lobe-like and short, second dorsal fin triangular and taller. Paddle like pectoral fins and large, flat denticles giving Centroscymnus owstonii a smooth skinned appearance.


Feeds on cephalopods and fish.


A viviparous (probably matrotrophic) species, with litters of 16-28 young. Males mature at 70 cm and females mature at 100 cm.


Once caught locally as bycatch for trawlers, catches are now restricted in Australia due to growing concerns for sustainability. Still occasionally caught by tuna longlines in Japanese waters.

Species Citation

Centroscymnus owstonii 1906, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard 46(11): 207. Type locality: Yenoura, Sagami Bay, Japan.


Bray, D.J. & Wood, D.R. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Owston's Dogfish, Centroscymnus owstonii Garman 1906


Bass, A.J. 1979. Records of little-known sharks from Australian waters. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 103(4): 247-254 figs 1-5

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. 2003. Sharks. pp. 357-505 in Carpenter, K.E. (ed.). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Atlantic. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 1 601 pp.

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. FRDC Final Report, 1998/108. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra, 106 pp.

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.

Garman, S. 1906. New Plagiostomia. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 46(11): 201-208Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.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.

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.

Weigmann S, Vaz DFB, White WT, de Carvalho MR, Thiel R. 2015. Distribution and comments on the morphology of Centroscymnus owstonii Garman, 1906 (Squaliformes: Somniosidae), with focus on its occurrence in the Indian Ocean. Marine Biodiversity, Online First Article, DOI 10.1007/s12526-015-0413-x Abstract

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.

Yano K, Tanaka S (1983) Portuguese shark, Centroscymnus coelolepis from Japan, with notes on C. owstoni. Jpn J Ichthyol 30(3): 208–216.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37020019

Biology:viviparous (probably matrotrophic)

Depth:500-1400 m

Max Size:120 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map