Chlamydoselachus anguineus

Common Name

Frilled Shark

Year Described

Garman, 1884


An extremely elongate shark with pelvic, anal, and dorsal fins placed far back on the body. Caudal fin strongly heterocercal with no obvious sub-terminal notch and with no ventral lobe. Caudal peduncle lacks a keel. Dorsal fin inserted posterior to pelvic fins and above origin of anal fin. Pectoral fins are relatively short, inserted on lower third of body, and just posterior of the last gill slit. The six pairs of frilly gill slits are very long; the first pair nearly encircling the head and connected by a flap of skin on the ventral part of the head. The head is fairly short and snake-like with a large, nearly terminal mouth. The mouth extends past the posterior margin of the eye and teeth are present on both upper and lower jaws. Teeth have three narrow, sharp cusps with a pair of small cusplets in between each. Nostrils lack barbels and eyes lack nictitating lower eyelids.


Gray-brown body, dark brown, or chocolate brown with a lighter belly. Fins are often darker.


Mature adults reach 150 cm., rarely nearly 200 cm. Males average slightly larger than females.


Benthic, epibenthic, or pelagic waters over the continental shelf. Lives offshore from 50-1500 m. Feeds on fish and squid. Ovoviviparous (6-12 young).

Range Map

 Range Map


So far only known from a specimen taken off of Martha’s Vineyard, MA (Moore et al., 2003), a live specimen photographed on the Blake Plateau (SE U.S.), and three specimens from off the coast of Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana. May prove to be more widespread in the W. Atlantic.


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

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

Moore, J. A., K. E. Hartel, J. E. Craddock, and J. K. Galbraith. 2003. An annotated list of deepwater fishes from off New England, with new area records. Northeast Naturalist 10(2):159-248.