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Author: Springer and Heemstra, 1979

Field Marks:
One of several Apristurus with first dorsal fin half the size of second. For other characters see diagnostic features and key to species.

Diagnostic Features:
Body relatively slender, trunk slightly tapering toward head. Snout long, broad, and bell-shaped, preoral snout about 9 to 10% of total length; gill slits small, much less than eye length; gill septa somewhat incised, without pleats or projecting medial lobes; eyes moderately large in adults, between 3 to 4% of total length; nostrils fairly broad, their width about 1.3 in internarial space: incurrent and excurrent apertures moderately large and oval, anterior nasal flaps elongated and triangular; mouth fairly short, moderate-sized and broadly arched, with dental bands hardly expanded and with lower ones falling slightly behind uppers; mouth and labial furrows under eyes; labial folds not enlarged, with lowers diagonal to body axis; mouth and teeth enlarged in males. Interdorsal space about two times greater than first dorsal base, about 2/3 of preorbital snout; first dorsal fin about half the size of second, base of first about 3/5 of that of second; origin of first dorsal somewhat behind pelvic insertions; second dorsal insertion well in front of anal insertion; pectoral fins fairly large, anterior margins about 11 to 14% of total length; inner margins long, nearly the length of pectoral bases; interspace between pectoral and pelvic bases short, somewhat less than preorbital length and about 7 to 9% of total length in adults; pelvic fins fairly high and broadly rounded; anal fin long, fairly high, and angular, between 2.5 and 3 times as long as high, its base about equal to, or slightly greater than prebranchial space and 18 to 22% of total length in adults; caudal fin fairly broad, with a slightly developed, poorly differentiated crest of enlarged denticles on dorsal margin. Lateral trunk denticles with crowns very small, flat and close-set, body surface almost silky-smooth and not with a feltlike or fuzzy texture. Colour dark grey with blackish fin margins. Adults moderately large, 40 to 46 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Western North Atlantic: Leeward Islands off Antigua and Anguilla.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known deepwater bottom shark found on the insular slopesoff the Leeward Islands at depth of 687 to 840 m.

Size:
Females adult at 39.5 to 45.5 cm, males adult at 42.8 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Type material:
Holotype: U.S. National Museum of Natural History, USNM 206176, 455 mm adult female. Type Locality: 18° 18'N, 63° 23'W, Leeward Islands near Anguilla in 687 m depth, western North Atlantic.

Hoary catshark (Apristurus canutus)