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Author: (Springer, 1979)

Field Marks:
An Apristurus with a distinctively thick body tapering anteriorly as a wedge to the snout tip, very small eyes, anteriorly expanded mouth, very sparse erect denticles on body, a prominent caudal crest of denticles, and sometimes white fin tips.

Diagnostic Features:
Body relatively stout (especially in adults), trunk strongly tapering toward head. Snout long, relatively narrow and bell-shaped, preoral snout about 9 to 11% of total length; gill slits moderately large, but somewhat less than eye length; gill septa without pleats or projecting medial lobes, well incised; eyes rather small and all sizes, between 2 and 3% of total length; nostrils fairly broad, their width about 1.1 times in internarial space; incurrent and excurrent apertures very large and circular, anterior nasal flaps long and angular; mouth long, large, and broadly arched, particularly in adult males, with dental bands prominently expanded and with lower ones falling well behind uppers; mouth and labial furrows extending well in front of eyes; labial folds somewhat enlarged, but with lowers diagonal to body axis; mouth and teeth enlarged in adult males. Interdorsal space slightly greater than first dorsal base, about two-thirds of preorbital snout; first dorsal fin slightly smaller than second, its base of first over 3/4 length of second. Origin of first dorsal over or slightly anterior to pelvic midbases; second dorsal insertion opposite anal insertion; pectoral fins small, anterior margins about 8 to 13% of total length; inner margins long, nearly length of pectoral bases; interspace between pectoral and pelvic bases short, equal or less than preorbital length and about 9 to 12% of total length in young and adults; pelvic fins high and broadly rounded; anal fin rather short, high, and rounded, about three times as long as high, its base about equal to prespiracular space and 13 to 16% of total length in young and adults; caudal fin long and narrow, with a conspicuous crest of enlarged denticles on its dorsal margin. Lateral trunk denticles of body with crowns erect, unusually far from one another and not imbricate, and with a prickly but not feltlike texture. Colour grey or blackish, with light tips on pectorals and dorsals of young at least. Adults large, adult male 85 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Western North Atlantic off Massachusetts; eastern North Atlantic from Porcupine Bank west of Ireland; nominal "Apristurus profundorum" from off Mauritania (Golovan, 1976) possibly are this species also.

Habitat and Biology:
A little known but singular bottomdwelling catshark of the Atlantic continental slopes at depths from 658 to 1740 m.

Females to at least 75.8 cm, adult males to 85.2 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:

Springer (1966) confused small western North Atlantic examples of this species with A. profundorum, which also has a caudal crest of denticles. Later Springer (1979) named a new species for it, manis, and placed it in Parmaturus along with his new stenseni in a new subgenus Compagnoia. In 1979 the writer examined two large eastern Atlantic scyliorhinids in the Institut fur Seefischerei, Hamburg, that are apparently conspecific with manis, and the largest of which (an 852 mm adult male), is illustrated above. The rationalle for placing this species and stenseni in Apristurus rather than Parmaturus is discussed in the remarks for this genus.

Type material:
Holotope: Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, MCZ 38299, 328 mm immature female. Type Locality: 39° 52'N, 70° 50'W, southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA, in 731 to 841 m depth.

Ghost catshark (Apristurus manis)