Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Chlamydoselachus anguineus, Frill Shark, Lizard Shark

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body eel-like
1 low D, behind pelvics
mouth very long, opens at front
teeth: 3 large points
6 gill slits

Chlamydoselachus anguineus Garman, 1884

Frill Shark, Lizard Shark

Elongated eel–shaped body, with a pair of longitudinal keels on ventral surface of belly; head flattened, its length 13-16% TL; snout extremely short; eyes over mid-mouth; a prominent horizontal groove above the upper lip extends below the nostrils and eyes to the cheek; mouth long, terminal, teeth and mouth edges exposed when mouth is closed; teeth alike in both jaws, widespaced, with three cusps and two cusplets on crown; 19-28 upper teeth rows, 21-29 lower teeth rows; six gill slits, all before pectorals, lower ends of 1st pair connected under throat; septa between gills enlarged and frilly; pectoral fins rounded and much smaller than pelvic fins; pelvic fins with broadly rounded margin; dorsal fin very low, rounded, and elongated, at rear of body, its insertion just before upper caudal–fin origin; anal fin broad–based and rounded, larger than dorsal fin, its insertion at the lower caudal–fin origin; tail base very short and compressed; tail fin with a vestigial subterminal notch, no lower lobe; lateral trunk denticles with spike–like crowns.

Dark chocolate brown, brownish grey to brownish black.

Reaches 196 cm


Depth range 30-1500m; usually at 500-1000 m, migrates vertically.

Worldwide in tropical to temperate areas; the Carolinas to Surinam.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 196
Depth Range Min
  • 30
Depth Range Max
  • 1500