Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Hexanchiformes
(Frill and cow sharks) > Hexanchidae
Etymology: Hexanchus: Greek, exa = six + Gree, agcho, narrow (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 0 - 600 m (Ref. 5578), usually 90 - 600 m (Ref. 6874). Deep-water; 49°N - 35°S, 99°W - 161°E (Ref. 55216)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 142 - 178 cm
Max length : 180 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 247); common length : 120 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
soft rays: 0;
Vertebrae: 155. A small, slim, six-gilled cowshark, with a narrow head and large eyes (Ref. 5578). Snout bluntly pointed, body fusiform (Ref. 6871). Dorsal fin relatively small, origin varying from over posterior half of pelvic fin base to just behind pelvic fin insertion (Ref. 6871). Anal fin smaller than dorsal fin (Ref. 6871). Live specimens with fluorescent green eyes (Ref. 6871). Brownish grey dorsally, paler ventrally (Ref. 6871). Fins with white trailing edges (Ref. 6574).
Western Central Atlantic: Mexico (Ref. 13186), off Bahamas, northern Cuba, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Eastern Atlantic: France to Morocco, including Mediterranean Sea (Ref. 13573); possibly Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria. Indian Ocean: off eastern and southern Africa (Ref. 13573), Aldabra Island (India); Western Australia (Ref. 6871). Western Pacific: Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, New Caledonia and eastern Australia (Ref. 13573).
Found on continental and insular shelves and upper slopes, from 90 to 600 m depth, usually on or near bottom, may move to the surface at night (Ref. 247, 5578). Probably feeds on bony fish and crustaceans (Ref. 13573). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205), with 13 young in a litter (Ref. 247). Not dangerous to people as far as is known (Ref. 247). Utilised for its fins, meat and liver oil but of little value due to its relatively small size (Ref.58048).
Ovoviviparous, with number of young 13 in one litter. Length at birth about 43 cm (Ref. 247). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994. Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia. 513 p. (Ref. 6871)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.8281 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.7 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec = 13).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (81 of 100) .