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Author: Springer and Wagner, 1966

Field Marks:
See diagnostic features and key to species.

Diagnostic Features:
Precaudal tail noticeably compressed at base. Snout moderately long and pointed, preoral length about 5.8 to 8.6% of total length; prenarial snout equal or greater than eye length; eyes virtually lateral, subocular ridge obsolete; mouth fairly large and long, broadly arched, its width 8.3 to 13.2% of total length; labial furrows moderately long, not confined to mouth corners. Pelvic fins small, low, and angular; interspace between pelvic and anal bases much shorter than anal base; anal base short to long, 10.8 to 13.4% of total length, less than, or slightly greater than interdorsal space, its origin under first third of interdorsal; no subeaudal crest of enlarged denticles on preventral caudal margin. Colour plain in adults, variegated dark saddle blotches with white edging on body and caudal fin of young; dorsal fins and caudal without black tips; mouth lining usually dark. Monospondylous precaudal centra 30 to 33. Size small, adults up to about 30 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Eastern North Pacific: Northern Gulf of California.

Habitat and Biology:
A deepwater bottom-dwelling shark of the northern Gulf of California, at depths of 402 to 1326 m. Possibly oviparus.

Size:
Maximum 30 cm; adult males 28 to29 cm, adult females 26 to 30 cm; size at hatching below 7 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Remarks:
G. piperatus is hardly separable from the G. arae complex of subspecies from the western Atlantic, though the author follows Springer (1979) in retaining it on vertebral count and colour differences.

Type material:
Holotype Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, LACM 7552, 302 mm adult female. Type Locality: 28° 55'N, 112° 50.5'W, midway between Tiburon and Angel de la Guardia Island, Gulf of California, probably 402 to 412 m depth.

Peppered catshark (Galeus piperatus)