Southern Sleeper Shark

About the Southern Sleeper Shark

The Somniosus Antarcticus, also known as the Southern Sleeper Shark, Blimp Shark and Whitely’s Sleeper Shark, is a deepwater benthopelagic sleeper shark of the family Somniosidae found in the southern Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.


The average size of this species is of 4.4 m (14ft).


This species is ovoviviparous with a size at birth around 40 cm. Litter size, gestation, reproductive cycle, age and growth are unknown.


The Southern Sleeper Shark is native of Australia, New Zealand, Southwest Indian Ocean, southeast and southwest Pacific. Their habitat ranges from near the bottom with current from 400 to 1,100m.


They feed primarily on cephalopods, especially the colossal squid, and fish. Their stomach contents also remain of marine mammals and birds. Based on its generally sluggish nature and speed of its prey, it is thought to be an ambush predator.


This dogfish is sometimes taken as bycatch in the orange roughy and Patagonian toothfish fisheries; whether this poses a threat to the species is currently unknown. Current population size is unknown.


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Southern Sleeper Shark Gallery

Scientific Name Somniosus antarcticus
OrderDog and Angelfish Sharks - Squaliformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNData Deficient
Litter Size Unknown
Common Length 438 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range 485 - 1150 m
DistributionSouthern and Antarctic Indian Ocean, Southwest Pacific, Southeast Pacific, Southwest Atlantic, Southeast Atlantic