Apristurus platyrhynchus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Pentanchidae

Scientific Name: Apristurus platyrhynchus (Tanaka, 1909)
Common Name(s):
English Flatnose Catshark, Bigfin Catshark, Borneo Catshark, Spatula Catshark, Spatulasnout Catshark
French Holbiche Malaise, Holbiche Spatula
Spanish Pejegato De Borneo, Pejegato Espatulado
Apristurus acanutus Chu, Meng, & Li in Meng, Chu & Li, 1985
Apristurus verweyi (Fowler, 1934)
Taxonomic Notes: Synonyms = Scyliorhinus platyrhynchus Tanaka, 1909; Pentanchus platyrhynchus Fowler, 1941; Apristurus acanutus Chu, Meng & Li, 1985; Apristurus verweyi (Fowler, 1934); Pentanchus verweyi Fowler, 1934.

The genus Apristurus contains at least 32 described species and a relatively large number of potentially undescribed ones. Morphological conservatism and, until recently, a lack of objectively defined characters makes this one of the most taxonomically confused shark genera (Compagno 1984, Nakaya and Sato 1999).

Nakaya and Sato (1999) defined three species groups within Apristurus: the longicephalus-group (two species), brunneus-group (20 species) and spongiceps-group (10 species). A. platyrhynchus belongs to the brunneus-group, characterized by: a short, wide snout (prenarial length < 6% TL); 13 to 22 valves in the spiral intestine; upper labial furrows obviously longer than the lower furrows; a discontinuous supraorbital sensory canal.

Nakaya and Sato (2000) reviewed the taxonomy of A. platyrhynchus and related species, listing A. acanutus Chu, Meng & Li, 1985 and A. verweyi (Fowler, 1934) as junior synonyms.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-18
Assessor(s): Duffy, C.A.J. & Huveneers, C.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
Contributor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
The Flatnose Catshark (Apristurus platyrhynchus) is a poorly known, deepwater shark with a patchy known distribution in the Indo-West Pacific. It occurs on the continental slope at depths of 400-1,080 m. It is probably taken as bycatch in deepwater trawl, set net and line fisheries throughout its range, particularly as this species occurs shallower than many other Apristurus species. However, at least in a large part of its Australian range fishing pressure is minimal allowing it refuge at greater depths, and it can therefore be assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Flatnose Catshark has a patchy known distribution in the Indo-West Pacific from Suruga Bay, Japan southwards to the East China Sea, Taiwan, the Philippines, South China Sea, Borneo, the Norfolk Ridge and off Australia (Last and Stevens 2009, Ebert et al.  2013). In Australian waters it is known from off Geraldton, Western Australia, and from off Ingham, Queensland to Brush Island, New South Wales (Last and Stevens 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia); Brunei Darussalam; China; Japan; Malaysia (Sabah); Philippines; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1080
Upper depth limit (metres):400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is currently no information available on population size or trends for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Flatnose Catshark is a poorly known, continental slope species found between 400 and 1,080 m depth (Last and Stevens 2009, Ebert et al. 2013). It reaches a maximum size of 71 cm total length (TL) with both sexes maturing around 60 cm TL (Last and Stevens 2009, Ebert et al. 2013). Apristurus species are relatively small, sluggish sharks that live on or near the bottom. Where known, reproduction is oviparous with one egg per oviduct.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Nothing is known regarding use or trade of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This catshark is probably taken as bycatch in deepwater trawl, set net and line fisheries that overlap with its range. This species may be caught more regularly in deepwater trawl fisheries than other Apristurus species given its relatively shallower occurrence. Parts of the eastern Australian continental slope for example have been subjected to heavy trawling pressure, however, the range of this species off eastern Australia is primarily outside of heavily fished areas. Deepwater fishing effort is very low where it occurs off northeast Queensland (Noriega et al. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation actions are currently in place for this species.

Classifications [top]

11. Marine Deep Benthic -> 11.1. Marine Deep Benthic - Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200-4,000m) -> 11.1.1. Hard Substrate
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
11. Marine Deep Benthic -> 11.1. Marine Deep Benthic - Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200-4,000m) -> 11.1.2. Soft Substrate
suitability:Suitable season:resident 

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:Unknown
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Ebert, D.A., Fowler, S. and Compagno, L. 2013. Sharks of the World. Wild Nature Press, Plymouth.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at:

Kawauchi, J., Sasahara, R., Sato, K. and Nakaya, K. 2008. Occurrence of the deep-water catsharks Apristurus platyrhynchus and Apristurus pinguis in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae). In: P.R. Last, W.T. White and J.J. Pogonoski (eds), Descriptions of New Australian Chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 022, CSIRO.

Last, P.R. and Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Second Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Nakaya, K. and Sato, K. 2000. Taxonomic review of Apristurus platyrhynchus and related species from the Pacific Ocean (Chondrichthyes, Carcharhiniformes, Scyliorhinidae). Ichthyological Research 47(3): 223–230.

Noriega, R., Hansen, S. and Mazur, K. 2014. Coral Sea Fishery. In: Georgeson, L., Stobutzki, I. and Curtotti, R. (eds), Fishery status reports 2013-14, pp. 48-60. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra.

Citation: Duffy, C.A.J. & Huveneers, C. 2015. Apristurus platyrhynchus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T44223A70709037. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
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