Author: Taylor, 1972
An Apristurus with a broad internarial space, very large gill slits, a very high rounded anal fin, and conspicuous white margins on the fins.
Body moderately slender to rather stout, trunk strongly tapering toward head. Snout moderately long, broad, and bell-shaped, preoral snout about 8% of total length; gill slits very large, somewhat greater than eye length; gill septa withoutprojecting medial lobes; eyes rather small in adults, about 3% of total length; nostrils narrow, their width about 1.5 to 1.8 times in internarial space; incurrent and excurrent apertures enlarged and oval, anterior nasal flaps elongated and triangular; mouth long, large, and broadly arched, with dental bands prominently expanded and with lower ones falling well behind uppers; mouth and labial furrows extending well in front of eyes; labial folds somewhat enlaroed. with lower neariv transverse to body axis; mouthand teeth enlarged in males. Interdorsal space equal to, or slightly greater than first dorsal base, slightly less than preorbital snout. First dorsal fin about as large as second, bases about equally long; origin of first dorsal slightly anterior to pelvic midbases; second dorsal insertion behind anal insertion; pectoral fins rather small, anterior margins about 10 to 12% of total length; inner margins long, nearly length of pectoral bases; interspace between pectoral and pelvic bases moderately long, slightly less than prebranchial length and about 16% of total length in adults; pelvic fins high and broadly rounded; anal fin short, high, and rounded, slightly more than twice as long as high, its base about equal to prespiracular space and 12% of total length in adults; caudal fin ratherbroad, without a crest of enlarged denticles on dorsal margin. Lateral trunk denticles of body with crowns fairly flat and close-set, surface fairly smooth and not with a feltlike or fuzzy texture. Colour blackish, with conspicuous white posterior margins on precaudal fins. Adults moderately large, adult female 52 cm.
Eastern North Pacific: Central and southern California, USA and Gulf of California, Mexico.
Habitat and Biology:
Alittle-known deepwater bottom shark of the eastern Pacific upper continental slope down to 1888 m depth. Oviparous, with a single egg laid per oviduct.
Adult females to at least 52 cm.
Interest to Fisheries:
None. Incidentally taken in deep trawls and sablefish traps off California.
Taylor (1972) recorded a second specimen of this species from the Galapagos Islands, but this appears to be another species of uncertain identity (Springer, 1979). The writer has examined adult specimens of a catshark from the Galapagos and Peru that may be an undescribed species if it is not the adult of A. stenseni; I have not examined Taylor's Galapagos specimen, but from its account and illustration in Taylor (1972) this juvenile shark (SIO 70 to 299, 201 mm immature male) may very likely be conspecific with the aforementioned adults. It has narrow nostrils and a broad internarial space as in A. kampae and several other related species.
Recently, several specimens of true A. kampae have been collected in deepwater trawl hauls and sablefish traps off central and southern California. In addition to these, there may be a related undescribed species rather like the distinctive, heavy-bodied, big-finned kampae, with smaller gill openings and other distinguishing features.
Springer (1979) distinguished this species from other Apristurus by its short anal fin (approached by several species, especially A. spongiceps), with "...its rear tip separated from origin of lower caudal lobe by a distance greater than half the length of the eye opening." Examination of California specimens of kampae indicates that the ventral caudal origin is just behind the anal base insertion in this species as in other membersof the genus, but that the preventral margin of the caudal fin is indented just behind its origin (also found to a greater or lesser extent in several other species of Apristurus). However, this species is readily distinguished from all other Apristurus by the character combination given above. It resembles A. riveri in its very wide gill slits, but differs from that species in numerous features.
Holotype: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, SIO 70-278, 335 mm immature female. Type Locality: 27°22.4' to 27° 10.1'N, 111°l0.l' to 111°29.6'W, central Gulf of California, Mexico in 1830 to 1888 m depth.