Author: (Koefoed, 1932)
An Apristurus with unusually large eyes, 5% of total length.
Body rather slender, trunk slightly tapering toward head. Snout moderately long, and broad, preoral snout about 9% of total length; gill slits of moderate size, about half the eye length; gill septa incised but not pleated, without projecting medial lobes; eyes rather large,about 5% of total length; mouth probably short and broadly arched, with dental bands moderately expanded and with lower ones falling well behind uppers: mouth and labial furrows about under eyes; labial folds possibly little enlarged, with lower folds diagonal to body axis; mouth and teeth enlarged in males. Interdorsal space about 1.6 times first dorsal base, slightly less than preorbital snout; first dorsal fin slightly smaller in area than second, bases about equally long; origin of first dorsal about opposite last fourth of pelvic bases; second dorsal insertion about opposite anal insertion; pectoral fins rather small, anterior margins about 12% of total length; inner margins long, nearly length of pectoral bases; interspace between pectoral and pelvic bases short, slightly less than preorbital length and about 10% of total length; pelvic fins moderately high and angular; anal fin short, fairly low, and angular, about 3.5 times as long as high, its base about equal to prespiracular space and 14% of total length; caudal fin fairly long and narrow, presence or absence of supracaudal crest uncertain (see remarks). Lateral trunk denticles of body may have elevated crowns, giving the skin a feltlike or fuzzy texture. Colour brown, with conspicuous dark posterior margins on precaudal fin and dark gill septa. Adult size uncertain.
Known with certainty only from the type locality.
Habitat and Biology:
A poorly known deepwater catshark, trawled from yellow mud bottom of the Atlantic continental slope.
Maximum known 25+ cm.
Interest to Fisheries: None.
This species is recognized following Springer (1979). but its validity needs to be confirmed by collection of more material. The writer examined several specimens of a small Apristurus in the Institut fur Seefischerei, Hamburg ichthyological collections, from very deep water (usually 1500 m or more) on offshore banks in the northeastern Atlantic north of the British Isles. Their most striking characters are their lead-grey coloration, elevated, Deania-like lateral trunk denticles that give their skin a fuzzy texture, relatively large eyes (nearly 4% of total length in adults), slender bodies, relatively narrow snguts, small nostrils with the internarial at least 1.5 times the nostril width, large, equal-sized dorsal fins with a short interdorsal space hardly longer than the first dorsal base, and relatively small size (adults being between 40 and 50 cm long. These may belong to the present species or a new one. If distinct, A. atlanticus apparently differs from them in having a more posterior first dorsal fin origin, darker coloration, and mouth not expanded anterior to eyes.
Holotype: Zoological Museum, ZMO, about 250 mm total length. Type Locality: 28°08'N, 13°35'W, 1365 m depth off Canary Islands.