Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

EspaƱol  Contact

Genus: Somniosus, Sleeper Shark, Sleeper Sharks

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body heavy, cylindrical
snout short, blunt
eyes circular
D2 < D1; no D spines
C = paddle
lower teeth: low oblique tips



A genus of small to very large sharks; body cylindrical to slightly compressed; snout short to moderately long, without barbels; eyes on side of head, without nictitating membranes; spiracles large, just behind eyes; mouth short, nearly transverse; top teeth narrow, needle-like, without cusplets, non overlapping; bottom teeth blade-like, overlapping, without cusps, notched on rear edge; gill slits 5, all before pectoral fin; 2 dorsal fins without spines; 1st dorsal slightly larger than 2nd dorsal; origin of 1st dorsal in middle of back behind pectorals; no anal fin; pelvic fins ~equal to or larger than 2nd dorsal; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, paddle shaped, lower lobe long , moderately to very large; may have keels before base of tail fin; skin denticles close-set, not enlarged.

A genus with 5 temperate to arctic species; 2 in the Greater Caribbean.