Centrophorus uyato

Common Name

Little Gulper Shark

Year Described

Rafinesque, 1810


Body is elongate with a broad, thick snout. There are two dorsal fins, nearly equal in size, both possessing a grooved spine on the anterior margin. Distance between dorsals equal to the distance from the snout to the axil of the pectoral fin. Origin of the first dorsal is over axil of the pectoral fin. Snout length is equal to mouth width. Anterior nasal flap is short. Teeth in lower jaw are broader than upper and are blade-like without cusplets. Tooth rows: upper: 33-40 rows; lower: 30 rows. The five gill slits are equal in size. Pectoral fin is rather short with an elongate free rear margin. Anal fin is absent. Pelvic fins set far back on body, anterior to second dorsal. The caudal fin is long with a well-developed sub-terminal notch and a fairly long ventral lobe. Caudal peduncle rather short (6.1-8.0% of total length. Eye is large. Skin has low, block-like, non-overlapping denticles (no pedicels, transversely rhomboidal crowns).


Dark gray to dark gray-brown above, paler below. Dusky fins (dark tips in juveniles).


Mature adults 60-92 cm. Maximum size ~100 cm.


Continental shelves and slopes from 100-1200 m., mainly 200-600 m. Lifestyle poorly known. Feeds on fishes, squid, and crustaceans. Ovoviviparous (1-2 young).


So far, off the Bahamas and in the Gulf of Mexico.


Castro, J.I. 2011. The Sharks of North America. Oxford University Press, 640 pp.

Clerkin, A.V. & C.F. Cotton. 2013. Revision of the genus Centrophorus (Squaliformes: Centrophoridae): Part 1 — Redescription of Centrophorus granulosus (Bloch & Schneider), a senior synonym of C. acus Garman and C. niaukang Teng. Zootaxa, 3752(1), 35-72.

Compagno, L., M. Dando, and S. Fowler. 2005. Sharks of the World. Princeton University Press, 480 pp.

Other Notes

Often identified under the name C. granulosus, which many authors use for this species (Compagno et al., 2005). Castro (2011) places all small gulper sharks under C. uyato, and considers C. granulosus to be based on a larger species of Centrophorus. Assuming eastern Atlantic C. uyato are the same as small gulpers from the western Atlantic, C. uyato is properly used for the small gulper and C. granulosus for the large gulper formerly known as C. niaukang (Clerkin & Cotton, 2013).