Apristurus laurussoni

Common Name

Icelandic Catshark

Year Described

Saemundsson, 1922


An elongate, soft-bodied shark with a short snout snout (<8% TL). A conspicuous oval-shaped series of pores is present on the ventral snout. Labial furrows large and conspicuous. Upper and lower jaw teeth similar, with a large central cusp and 2-4 small lateral cusplets. Short-trunked: pectoral base to pelvic fin distance (trunk length) is 15-17.8% TL, or less than twice inter-dorsal distance. There are two dorsal fins: the second being equal in size or slightly smaller than the first. The first dorsal fin is inserted over the middle or rear of pelvic fin base. The distance between the dorsal fins is less than the snout length. The anal fin base is long; longer than the distance from snout to first gill slit and longer than the inter-dorsal space. The pectoral fin is low on the body and is squared off on the margin. The caudal fin is long with a very weak lower lobe. Pelvic fin tip close to anal fin origin. Denticles overlapping with three sharp points, three strong central ridges on each point, rounded anterior margins, and a dense scaly covering.


Body and fins uniformly brown.


Maximum size to 68cm.


Deep waters from 560-1462m. Inhabits deeper waters in the southern part of its range.


North Atlantic: off New England, the Gulf of Mexico, and off Hispaniola


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.