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Author: Springer and Heemstra, 1979

Field Marks:
One of several Apristurus with first dorsal fin half the size of second. For other characters see diagnostic features and key to species.

Diagnostic Features:
Body relatively slender, trunk slightly tapering toward head. Snout long, broad, and bell-shaped, preoral snout about 9 to 10% of total length; gill slits small, much less than eye length; gill septa somewhat incised, without pleats or projecting medial lobes; eyes moderately large in adults, between 3 to 4% of total length; nostrils fairly broad, their width about 1.3 in internarial space: incurrent and excurrent apertures moderately large and oval, anterior nasal flaps elongated and triangular; mouth fairly short, moderate-sized and broadly arched, with dental bands hardly expanded and with lower ones falling slightly behind uppers; mouth and labial furrows under eyes; labial folds not enlarged, with lowers diagonal to body axis; mouth and teeth enlarged in males. Interdorsal space about two times greater than first dorsal base, about 2/3 of preorbital snout; first dorsal fin about half the size of second, base of first about 3/5 of that of second; origin of first dorsal somewhat behind pelvic insertions; second dorsal insertion well in front of anal insertion; pectoral fins fairly large, anterior margins about 11 to 14% of total length; inner margins long, nearly the length of pectoral bases; interspace between pectoral and pelvic bases short, somewhat less than preorbital length and about 7 to 9% of total length in adults; pelvic fins fairly high and broadly rounded; anal fin long, fairly high, and angular, between 2.5 and 3 times as long as high, its base about equal to, or slightly greater than prebranchial space and 18 to 22% of total length in adults; caudal fin fairly broad, with a slightly developed, poorly differentiated crest of enlarged denticles on dorsal margin. Lateral trunk denticles with crowns very small, flat and close-set, body surface almost silky-smooth and not with a feltlike or fuzzy texture. Colour dark grey with blackish fin margins. Adults moderately large, 40 to 46 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Western North Atlantic: Leeward Islands off Antigua and Anguilla.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known deepwater bottom shark found on the insular slopesoff the Leeward Islands at depth of 687 to 840 m.

Females adult at 39.5 to 45.5 cm, males adult at 42.8 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Type material:
Holotype: U.S. National Museum of Natural History, USNM 206176, 455 mm adult female. Type Locality: 18° 18'N, 63° 23'W, Leeward Islands near Anguilla in 687 m depth, western North Atlantic.

Hoary catshark (Apristurus canutus)