Apristurus melanoasper

Common Name

Black Roughscale Catshark

Year Described

Igl├ęsias, Nakaya and Stehmann, 2004


An elongate, soft-bodied shark with a relatively short snout (as long as mouth width). 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 smaller lateral cusplets. Long-trunked: pectoral base to pelvic fin distance is more than twice the inter-dorsal distance. There are two dorsal fins: the second being slightly larger than the first and inserted over the middle of the anal base. The first dorsal fin is inserted over the anterior half of the pelvic fin. The distance between the dorsal fins is almost equal to snout length. The anal fin base is relatively long (longer than 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 weak lower lobe. Pelvic fin tips are noticeably separated from anal fin origin. Denticles strongly overlapping, with three sharp points, a strong central ridge, a rounded anterior margin, and a dense scaly covering.


Uniformly black over entire body and fins. Dorsal fins have shiny black edges.


Mature adults from 61-64cm. Maximum size to 76.1cm.


Deep waters from 718-955m.


Northwestern Atlantic: off the eastern U.S.A


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.

Igl├ęsias, S.P., K. Nakaya, and M. Stehmann. 2004. Apristurus melanoasper, a new species of deep-water catshark from the North Atlantic (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae). Cybium 28 (4): 345-356.