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Author: (Waite, 1900)

Field Marks:
Dark grey-brown coloration, no anal fin, dorsal fins with very small fin spines, very short snout, lanceolate upper teeth and bladelike lower teeth with short, oblique cusps, stocky body that tapers abruptly from pectoral region, moderately large dermal denticles with triple cusps and ridges in adults and subadults.

Diagnostic Features:
Body stocky, tapering back from pectoral region. Snout short, preoral length much less than distance from mouth to first gill slits and less than mouth width; lips not thick and fleshy; upper labial furrows very short, their lengths much less than distance between their front ends; lower teeth with short, strongly oblique cusps and high, fairly broad roots. Dorsal fins about equal in size and height, fin spines very small but with tips protruding from fins; first dorsal fin extending forward as a prominent ridge, origin behind pectorals; second dorsal base about as long as space between it and upper caudal origin, free rear tip well in front of upper caudal origin; pectoral fins moderately large, apices falling well in front of first dorsal spine when laid back; free rear tips of pelvic fins falling well in front of second dorsal insertion. Lateral trunk denticles moderately large, with triple cusps and ridges.

Geographical Distribution:
Western South Pacific: Southeastern Australia, New Zealand.

Habitat and Biology:
A common though little-known bottom shark of the continental and insular slopes of temperate southeastern Australia and New Zealand, at depths of 219 to 1427 m though commonest between 550 and 732 m. Occurs in large schools near the bottom, with schools segregated by size and sex. Development ovoviviparous, with large litters of up to 36 young. Feeds on cephalopods and bony fishes.

Males mature at 100 to 131 cm total length, females 129 to 170 cm; size at birth between 32 and 36 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
This is a very common deepwater shark off New Zealand in waters deeper tha 550 m, which has been taken in considerable numbers with deepwater longlines and is of possible commercia interest for liver oil and fishmeal.

Type material:
Holotype: Adult female, about 1420 mm. Type Locality: South Island of New Zealand in 220 m depth.

Plunket shark (Centroscymnus plunketi)