Chain Catshark

About the Chain Catshark

Chain Catsharks can be found in the Western Central Atlantic and the Northwest Atlantic between 36 to 750 m deep.

Biology and Behaviour

Chain catsharks are biofluorescent where they glow to become more visible to each other. They are shy and nocturnal and often hide in crevices. It’s possible that water temperature keeps chain catsharks limited to their range. They typically live in waters between 8.5 °C to 14 °C.

Adult chain catsharks prefer rough ground which makes it hard for trawling thus providing a refuge for this species from fisheries. Therefore, young catsharks are caught as bycatch more than adults.

Chain catsharks can grow up to 59 cm long. They are shy and nocturnal and often hide in crevices. They spend their day resting at the bottom using the sandy bottom to camouflage its spotted back.

At night, when they are active, chain catsharks feed on squid, bony fish, crustaceans and bristle worms.

Reproduction and Lifespan

Chain catsharks are oviparous. The young hatch from their egg cases after seven to 12 months. The eggs are laid in pairs, and approximately 44 to 52 eggs are laid per year. The size at birth is between 10 – 11 cm long. Females mature at 52 cm long while males mature between 37 to 50 cm long.

Conservation and Tourism

The IUCN lists chain catsharks as least concern, and there are currently no conservation methods in place. They are sometimes collected for the aquarium trade and frequently displayed in aquariums. They are not fished for consumption.

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Chain Catshark Gallery

Scientific Name Scyliorhinus retifer
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNLeast Concern
Litter Size 1
Common Length 48.0 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range 36 - 750 m
DistributionWestern Central Atlantic, Northwest Atlantic