Oxynotus caribbaeus

Common Name

Caribbean Roughshark

Year Described

Cervigón, 1961


Body shape unmistakable, being strongly compressed but strongly hump-backed in profile. Belly profile fairly flattened in profile. Head small and flattened. Eye and spiracles large. Nasal flaps present. Mouth small and inferior. Teeth in upper jaw (single erect cusp) very different in shape to lower (flat and serrated). Labial furrows well developed and line entire mouth. Gill slits small. Nape strongly arched to a long, triangular first dorsal fin. Dorsal fins tall and prominent with falcate margins. Well developed spines buried in the skin and barely showing preceding both dorsal fins. Pectoral fins long and falcate. Pelvic fins rounded and well back on body. Anal fin absent. Caudal fin well developed but lower lobe is weak. Skin with highly modified raised denticles giving it a very rough texture.


Body gray to whitish with a thick irregular brown band between dorsal fins. Brown stripes run along nape and through both eyes. Numerous brown blotches elsewhere on body. Fins gray with brown blotches in center.


Maximum size to 55cm TL.


Occurs close to the bottom from 220-800m. Appears to be a slow moving species that feeds on the bottom.


Caribbean Sea: S. Florida to Venezuela.


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