Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Apristurus laurussonii, Flathead catshark, Icelandic catshark, Madeira catshark

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D1 ~same size as D2
D1 origin slightly before center pelvic base

Apristurus laurussonii (Saemundsson, 1922)

Icelandic catshark,  Madeira catshark,  Flathead catshark

Body soft and flabby, with thin skin; body  compressed; head broad, flattened, pointed and wedge shaped in side view; snout relatively short, <8% TL, tip bluntly pointed, longer than mouth width; skull without crests above eyes; mouth short, arched, reaches to under front edge of eyes; teeth with 3 (usually)-5 cusps, central cusp longest; lip furrows very long, upper furrows extend forwards to level of front of mouth,  lower furrows shorter than uppers; nostrils large, upper flap pointed, reach across nostrils; eyes relatively large (orbit length 2.5-3% TL, high on sides of head, with a crest below them;  5 gill slits, on sides of head, length < eye;  2 dorsal fins small, at rear of body, without spines; 1st dorsal slightly larger than second, origin  over/slightly behind center of base of pelvics; origin of 2nd dorsal over  ~middle of anal base;  space between dorsals 9.1-10.5% TL, > 1st dorsal base; distance between pectoral and pelvic bases 15-17.8% TL;  anal fin very large, angular, starts at tips of pelvics, separated from tail fin by a very small notch, base 14.6-17% TL;  tail fin elongate, top lobe with a subterminal notch, lower lobe weakly developed, without crest of denticles along top margin; flank denticles with 3 points (central point longest) central ridge strongest.

Uniform dark brown.

Reaches 72 cm

Trawled from soft bottoms

Depth range 560-2060 m

East and West Atlantic; Canada to Venezuela.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • No pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Extends North of GC
  • All species..
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 72
Depth Range Min
  • 560
Depth Range Max
  • 2060