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Hexanchus griseus  (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Bluntnose sixgill shark
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| Native range | All suitable habitat | PointMap | Year 2100 |
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Hexanchus griseus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Hexanchus griseus (Bluntnose sixgill shark)
Hexanchus griseus
Picture by Murch, A.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Hexanchiformes (Frill and cow sharks) > Hexanchidae (Cow sharks)
Etymology: Hexanchus: Greek, exa = six + Gree, agcho, narrow (Ref. 45335);  griseus: From the Latin 'griseus' meaning gray (Ref. 27436).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; bathydemersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 2500 m (Ref. 58302), usually 180 - 1100 m (Ref. 45445).   Subtropical; 65°N - 48°S, 180°W - 180°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 400 - 482 cm
Max length : 482 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 247); common length : 300 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 590.0 kg (Ref. 27436)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A heavily-bodied, broad-headed sixgill shark, mouth ventral with 6 rows of lower, bladelike, comb-shaped teeth on each side (Ref. 247). Snout broadly rounded, body fusiform (Ref. 6871). Anal fin smaller than dorsal fin (Ref. 6871). Brown or grey above, paler below, with a light stripe along side (Ref. 26346). Fins with white edges (Ref. 6574). Live specimens with fluorescent green eyes (Ref. 6871). Six gill slits are very long (Ref. 35388).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Circumglobal: In tropical and temperate waters; (Ref. 13573). Western Atlantic: North Carolina to Florida (USA) and northern Gulf of Mexico to northern Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: Iceland and Norway to Namibia, including the Mediterranean. Indian Ocean: Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, and Arabian Sea (Ref.85183). Western Pacific: eastern Japan to New Zealand and Hawaii. Eastern Pacific: Aleutian Islands, Alaska to Baja California, Mexico; also Chile . Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139, Ref. 41819).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Depth range reported at 0m-2000m. A deepwater species of the outer continental and insular shelves and upper slopes (Ref. 6871). Near bottom, occasionally pelagic, adults usually below 91 m (Ref. 58302). Juveniles may be found close inshore (Ref. 6871). Found on the bottom by day, moving to the surface at night to feed, and where it may take longlines set for other species (Ref. 45445). Depth distribution related to growth and temperature, with juveniles having most shallow records and from colder, poleward regions (Ref. 58302). Feeds on a wide range of marine organisms, including other sharks, rays, chimaeras, bony fish, squids, crabs, shrimps, carrion, and even seals. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205), with 22 to 108 pups in a litter (Ref. 247). Marketed fresh, frozen, or dried salted; also utilized as a source of oil and fishmeal. Not known to have attacked people without provocation (Ref. 247). Give birth to almost 100 young (Ref. 35388).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Ovoviviparous, litters very large, 22 to 108 (Ref. 247). Size at birth 60-75 cm (Ref. 26346). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Compagno, Leonard J.V. | Collaborators

Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Poisonous to eat (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.8281   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.2 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec= 22-108).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (84 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.