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Apristurus micropterygeus

(Smalldorsal cat shark)


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Family : Cat sharks ; Oviparous [1].

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Czech:

Máčka maloploutvá

Common Names in Dutch:


Common Names in English:

Smalldorsal cat shark, Smalldorsal catshark

Common Names in Mandarin Chinese:

小鰭光尾鯊, 小鳍光尾鲨


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Biome: Marine [2].

Ecology: The holotype is an adolescent male, 37.2 cm TL , caught at 913 m depth. Nakaya and Sato (2000) estimated male size at maturity to be about 40 cm TL, and maximum size to be about 57 cm TL.

Apristurus species are relatively small, sluggish sharks that live on or near the bottom over upper to mid continental and insular slopes . Diet includes crustaceans (penaeid shrimps, euphausids), squids and small fishes . Where known reproduction is oviparous with one egg per oviduct . Egg cases are usually thick-walled, about 5 to 6.8 cm long and 2.5 to 2.9 cm wide. The anterior end of the case has a long weak fibrous thread on each corner. The posterior end usually has two small processes, each with a long coiled tendril . As in shallow water scyliorhinids the coiled tendrils are probably used to attach the egg cases to hard substrates and/or biogenic structures as they are laid. (Ref. 255036).

List of Habitats :


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Apristurus micropterygeus Meng, Chu & Li, in Chu, Meng & Li, 1986


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Comment: In Chu, Meng & Li.

Last scrutiny: Data last modified by FishBase 27-Oct-2000

The genus Apristurus contains at least 32 described species and a relatively large number of potentially undescribed ones. Morphological conservatism and, until recently, a lack of objectively defined characters makes this one of the most taxonomically confused shark genera (Compagno 1984, Nakaya and Sato 1999).

Nakaya and Sato (1999) defined three species groups within Apristurus: the longicephalus-group (two species), brunneus-group (20 species) and spongiceps-group (10 species). A. micropterygeus belongs to the brunneus-group, characterized by: a short, wide snout (prenarial length
A. micropterygeus is unique among the species of Apristurus in having a narrow and sharply pointed first dorsal fin. However, Nakaya and Sato (2000) recommended that the status of the species be reviewed once additional specimens are available, citing the possibility that the dorsal fin of the holotype may have been malformed. (Ref. 255036).

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Apristurus

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 39 species and subspecies in this genus:

A. acanutus (Flatnose Cat Shark) · A. albisoma (Whitish Catshark) · A. ampliceps (Roughskin Catshark) · A. aphyodes (White Ghost Catshark) · A. atlanticus (Atlantic Catshark) · A. australis (Pinocchio Catshark) · A. brunneus (Brown Cat Shark) · A. bucephalus (Bighead Catshark) · A. canutus (Hoary Cat Shark) · A. exsanguis (Deepwater Catshark) · A. fedorovi (Stout Catshark) · A. gibbosus (Humpback Cat Shark) · A. herklotsi (Longfin Cat Shark) · A. indicus (Smallbelly Cat Shark) · A. internatus (Shortnose Demon Catshark) · A. investigatoris (Broadnose Cat Shark) · A. japonicus (Japanese Cat Shark) · A. kampae (Longnose Cat Shark) · A. laurussoni (Atlantic Ghost Cat Shark) · A. laurussonii (Flathead Catshark) · A. longicephalus (Smooth-Belly Catshark) · A. macrorhynchus (Flathead Cat Shark) · A. macrostomus (Broadmouth Cat Shark) · A. manis (Ghost Cat Shark) · A. melanoasper (Black Roughscale Catshark) · A. microps (Smalleye Cat Shark) · A. micropterygeus (Smalldorsal Cat Shark) · A. nasutus (Largenose Cat Shark) · A. parvipinnis (Smallfin Cat Shark) · A. parvipinnisin (Smallfin Cat Shark) · A. pinguis (Fat Catshark) · A. platyrhynchus (Spatulasnout Cat Shark) · A. profundorum (Deep-Water Catshark) · A. riveri (Broadgill Cat Shark) · A. saldanha (Saldanha Cat Shark) · A. sibogae (Pale Catshark Pale Catshark) · A. sinensis (South China Cat Shark) · A. spongiceps (Spongehead Cat Shark) · A. stenseni (Panama Ghost Cat Shark)

More Info

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Further Reading

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  1. Dulvy, N.K. and J.D. Reynolds (1997). Evolutionary transitions among egg-laying, live-bearing and maternal inputs in sharks and rays. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 264:1309-1315. [back]
  2. Duffy, C. & Huveneers, C. 2004. Apristurus micropterygeus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 January 2012. [back]
Last Revised: 2014-05-14