Author: (Archey, 1921)
Scymnodon-like, but with no dorsal spines and with the first dorsal slightly more posterior than in Scymnodon species; snout somewhat flattened, not bulbous, lower teeth with very high, erect or semierect cusps, distal blades and no serrations, first dorsal on middle of back behind pectoral fins, caudal fin asymmetrical, with a short lower lobe, fins without prominent light edges.
Anterior nasal flaps short, not expanded into barbels; snout moderately long, pointed and flattened, length about 2/5 head length and about 2/3 of distance from mouth to pectoral origins; gill openings moderately wide, last one slightly broader than first 4; lips thin, not fringed, pleated or suctorial; teeth strongly different in upper and lower jaws, uppers small, with very narrow, acute, erect cusps and no cusplets, not bladelike, lowers much larger, bladelike, interlocked, with a high broad, erect or semierect cusp and distal blade, edges not serrated; tooth rows 57/34. Both dorsal fins spineless; first dorsal somewhat posterior on back, origin well behind pectoral fins, insertion well anterior to pelvic origins but slightly closer to pelvic bases than to pectorals; second dorsal slightly larger than first but with base less than 1.5 times as long as first; origin of second dorsal fin over rear half of pelvic bases; pectoral fins with short, broadly rounded free rear tips and inner margins, not expanded and acute or lobate; caudal fin asymmetrical, not paddle-shaped, with a long upper lobe, short lower lobe, and strong subterminal notch. No precaudal pits, lateral or midventral keels on caudal peduncle. Dermal denticles with moderately high, narrow pedicels and broad, flat, leaf-shaped, tricusped and triridged crowns. Cloaca normal, not expanded as a luminous gland. Colour uniform dark brown, apparently without conspicuous fin markings.
Known only from the type locality.
Habitat and Biology:
The only known specimen of this poorly known shark was found washed up on a beach; presumably the species inhabits the insular slope of New Zealand near the bottom or is oceanic or semi-oceanic. Virtually nothing is known of the biology of S. sherwoodi.
Maximum total length of adult males at least 80.3 cm.
Interest to Fisheries: None.
Holotype: Canterbury Museum, 803 mm adult male. Type Locality: New Brighton Beach, Canterbury, New Zealand.