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Author: (Saemundsson, 1922)

Field Marks:
See diagnostic features and key to species.

Diagnostic Features:
Body relatively slender, trunk slightly tapering toward head. Snout moderately long, broad, and bell-shaped, preoral snout about 7 to 8% of total length; gill slits short, less than eye length; gill septa without projecting medial lobes or pleats, somewhat incised; eyes rather small in adults, about 3% of total length. Nostrils fairly broad, their width about 1.4 times in internarial space; incurrent and excurrent apertures large and oval, anterior nasal flaps long and angular; mouth long, moderately large, and broadly arched, with dental bands somewhat expanded and with lower ones falling well behind uppers; mouth and labial furrows about opposite eyes; labial folds somewhat enlarged, with lower diagonal to body axis; mouth and teeth not greatly enlarged in males. Interdorsal space somewhat 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 about opposite anal insertion; anal fin short, fairly high, and angular, slightly more than three times as long as high, its base somewhat greater than prespiracular space and 14 to 17% of total length in adults; pectoral fins small, anterior margins about 12 to 13% of total length; inner margins long, about length of pectoral bases; interspace between pectoral and pelvic bases short, slightly less than prebranchial length and about 11% of total length in adults; pelvic fins high and broadly rounded; caudal fin fairly broad, without a dorsal crest of enlarged denticles. Lateral trunk denticles of body with crowns fairly flat and closely imbricated, surface fairly smooth and without a feltlike or fuzzy texture. Colour dark brown, without light-margined dorsal fins. Adults large, to 68 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Western North Atlantic: Massachusetts, Delaware, northern Gulf of Mexico. Eastern North Atlantic: Iceland, southwestern Ireland, Canary Islands.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known deepwater catshark, apparently fairly common on the upper continental slopes, on or near bottom at 560 to 1462 m depth. Presumably oviparous.

Maximum about 68 cm, adult male 68 cm, adult female 67 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Type material:
Holotype: Natural History Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland, NHMR, 673 mm female. Type Locality: Near Vestmannaeyjar Island, southern Iceland, 560 m.

Iceland catshark (Apristurus laurussoni)