© Johan Boshoff


Catshark (Scyliorhinidae)

Others in Family

Comoros, Leopard, Pyjama, Demon, Ghost, Australian spotted, Sawtail, Tiger, Shy, Barbeled and Narrowtail


Catsharks can be up to 3 m in length.

Catshark Identification

Catsharks are characterised by their first dorsal fin which starts behind the pelvic fin. The second dorsal fin is larger and their eyes are oval shaped. They differ in colour and are marked by irregular patterns.

Catshark General Info

Catsharks belong to the Scyliorhinidae family which comprises of 15 genera and 105 species, making them the largest shark family. These creatures are predominantly nocturnal and can be found in shallow areas close to reefs, and as deep as 2000 m. They catch their prey by gulping it up. Some catshark species are ovoviviparous, but they mostly spawn their large eggs in hard egg-casings with tendrils.

Catshark Feeding

Catsharks feed mainly on invertebrates and small fish.


They can be found in all oceans across the world.

Common Species

Coral catshark
Atelomycterus marmoratus
Puffadder shyshark
Haploblepharus edwardsii
Pyjama catshark
Poroderma africanum