Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 641–653 | Cite as

Distribution and comments on the morphology of Centroscymnus owstonii Garman, 1906 (Squaliformes: Somniosidae), with focus on its occurrence in the Indian Ocean

  • Simon Weigmann
  • Diego F. B. Vaz
  • William T. White
  • Marcelo R. de Carvalho
  • Ralf Thiel
Original Paper


The Roughskin Dogfish Centroscymnus owstonii is one of the most widespread deepwater shark species, but its global distribution is mostly based on patchy records. In this study, C. owstonii was reinvestigated with focus on its poorly known distribution in the western and eastern Indian Ocean. Previous records of the species from the Seychelles, which, for decades, were considered to be of a different species, were verified in this study. Furthermore, the first records from off Reunion Island, Madagascar, and Indonesia are provided, including the smallest free-swimming specimen of the species described in detail to date. Based on these specimens, a description of C. owstonii is given with updated and extended morphometric data, photographic documentation and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of dermal denticles. Additionally, specimens from the Indian Ocean are compared with specimens from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. For the Pacific Ocean, the first record from the central western North Pacific is provided from the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. This record also represents the most open ocean known occurrence of C. owstonii.


Chondrichthyes Roughskin dogfish Deepwater Western Indian Ocean Indonesia 



The authors are grateful to the following museum staff for their assistance and support in accessing collection material: Oliver Crimmen and James Maclaine (BMNH, London); Mamoru Yabe and Toshio Kawai (HUMZ, Hakodate). We are grateful to Nigel R. Merrett (BMNH) for comments on the two specimens from the Seychelles Islands at BMNH, Irina Eidus (ZMH) for help with the radiography, Matthias F.W. Stehmann (ICHTHYS) who collected the ‘Vityaz’ specimens and provided information about the expedition, Dave Ebert and Paul Clerkin (MLML) for providing collection data for the two Centroscymnus owstonii specimens from the western Indian Ocean at AMNH, Dave Ebert for information about three specimens of C. owstonii from off Mossel Bay (South Africa), Alastair Graham (CSIRO) who provided registration numbers and data for Australian and Indonesian specimens, Dharmadi (Research Centre for Fisheries and Conservation Management, Jakarta) and Fahmi (Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Jakarta) for their help in the field in Indonesian fish markets, Hajime Ishihara (W&I Associates Co. Ltd., Japan) and Karsten Hartel (MCZ) for providing additional information on the type locality of C. owstonii. DFBV and MRC were supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) through grants 2012/07712-3, 2013/13137-4, 2012/09877-0, 2012/02349-5, 2012/05152-0, 2012/05391-5, and 2013/05292-0, and CNPq (155593/2012-9; 304615/2011-0); DFBV is currently funded by the Graduate Support Package from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary; WW was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (Jaws and Backbone: Chondrichthyan Phylogeny and a Spine for the Vertebrate Tree of Life; DEB-01132229) and the CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Weigmann
    • 1
  • Diego F. B. Vaz
    • 2
    • 3
  • William T. White
    • 4
  • Marcelo R. de Carvalho
    • 3
  • Ralf Thiel
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Natural HistoryUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Virginia Institute of Marine ScienceCollege of William and MaryGloucester PointUSA
  3. 3.Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Wealth from Oceans FlagshipHobartAustralia

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