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Species: Hexanchus vitulus, Atlantic Sixgill Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

small, slender
head narrow, pointed
eye large
D not very near C
6 gill slits
5 rows lower teeth

Hexanchus vitulus Springer & Waller, 1969

Atlantic Sixgill Shark

Slender, head narrow and bluntly pointed; eyes large; mouth large, strongly arched; top teeth small and narrow, with an oblique point; lower teeth comb-like (long, low, serrated, 1st point enlarged), large teeth in 5 rows; six long gill slits none over pectoral base; a single dorsal fin far back on body, well separated from tail fin (separated by 2-3 times the length of the dorsal-fin base), space between bases of dorsal and tail fins > length of dorsal fin base; tail base relatively long; tail very asymmetrical, lower lobe and notch under top tip well developed.

Grey on top, abruptly light below; trailing edges of fins usually white, sometimes dark; a black spot at tip of tail fin.

Size: 180 cm.

Habitat: Continental and insular shelves and upper slopes, generally near the bottom.

Depth: 90-701 m.

West Atlantic, Florida to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Water column
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 180
Depth Range Min
  • 90
Depth Range Max
  • 701