Graceful Catshark: Proscyllium habereri

Family: Proscylliidae
Common names

Graceful Catshark.


Proscyllium habereri.


Triakis habereri.


A slender bodied catshark. Snout relatively short with a rounded tip. Large, square anterior nasal flaps almost reach mouth. Mouth width greater than snout length. Upper labial furrows longer than lower. Dorsal fins large with tightly rounded apices. First and second dorsal fins of equal size. First dorsal origin approximately mid way between pectoral posterior margin and pelvic fin origin. Pectoral fins small. Anal fin origin slightly anterior to origin of second dorsal fin. Well defined caudal notch.
Dorsal coloration creamy/bluish-white with dark spots and diffuse reddish brown saddles and blotches.


Maximum length 65cm. Size at birth unknown.

Graceful Catshark, Proscyllium habereri. Ainan, Shikoku, Japan, northwest Pacific Ocean.

Conservation Status


The graceful catshark lives in an area with intensive ground fisheries. No catch specific data exists for this species, but it is probably a bycatch species in trawl, seine net, and gillnet fisheries.
Although graceful catsharks are thought to be relatively common in Taiwan, general landings of elasmobranchs in Japan, China, South Korea, and Viet Nam EEZs indicate declines of 34–96% over the past three generation lengths (45 years).

Graceful Catshark, Proscyllium habereri. Ainan, Shikoku, Japan, northwest Pacific Ocean.

A cold water species inhabiting rocky and sandy substrates on the continental shelf and upper slope. Recorded as occurring from 50-320m, but this species is occasionally seen by divers in 30m on the west coast of Shikoku Island, Japan. Likely, occurs deeper in warmer climates.


Northwest Pacific and western Indian Ocean. The graceful catshark ranges from Japan to Vietnam with an isolated population occurring off northwest Java and southeast Sumatra.


Oviparous. One egg per oviduct at a time. Little else known.


The graceful catshark feeds on small bony fishes, crustaceans, and cephalopods.


Poorly known. Enters shallower water during the winter months.

Reaction to divers

Graceful catsharks are rarely encountered by divers. Difficult to approach. Usually bolts when discovered, but may remain stationary for a few seconds.

Diving logistics

The best place to look for graceful catsharks is off Cape Koumo in Ehime Prefecture on the southwest ccorner of Shikoku Island, Japan. The colder winter months are the best time to look for this species, but even in the winter, it is only seen 1-2 times a month.

Similar species

Darkspotted Catshark – Halaelurus buergeri Distinguished by proportionately smaller and less pointed dorsal fins, more pointed snout, and black spots which are concentrated along borders of dusky saddles.