Dwarf Gulper Shark

Common Name: Gulper Shark
Scientific Name: Centophorus granulosus


The Dwarf Gulper SharkThe gulper shark, Centophorus granulosus, belongs to the family Centrophoridae. The gulper shark was originally described as Squalus granulosus by Bloch and Schneider in 1801. The current valid scientific name for the gulper shark is Centophorus granulosus. The genus word, Centrophorus is derived from the Greek words kentron meaning "thorn" and pherein meaning "to bear" in reference to the spines that all dogfish bear on both the first and second dorsal fins. The gulper shark is fished with a variety of methods including bottom trawls, hook and line, or with pelagic trawls in the eastern Atlantic. Although sometimes caught as bycatch, some deepwater longline fisheries do target this species

Range & Habitat


The gulper shark occurs globally in tropical to temperate marine waters. The gulper shark has been noted in the eastern and western north Atlantic and also common in Portugal, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria to France and along the coast of North America around North Carolina and the Gulf of Mexico.


The gulper shark is a bathydemersal, living and feeding at depths exceeding 656 ft (200m), marine, deep-water dogfish most commonly found between 328 ft and 3937 ft (100 -1,200 meters). The gulper shark is commonly observed along the outer continental shelves and upper slopes, usually on or near the bottom substrate.


The gulper shark is a slim, relatively long dogfish with two dorsal fins bearing long grooved spines. The second dorsal fin is shorter than the first, and its base is about three-fourths the length of the first dorsal fin. The distance from the first and second dorsal fins is equal to the distance from the tip of the snout to the axil of the pectoral fin. The color of the gulper shark is olive-grey to grey-brown or sandy grey to brown dorsally and lighter ventrally with no obvious markings in adults; juveniles may be lighter and may have dusky tips on the dorsal and caudal fins.

Size, Age & Growth

The maximum total length recorded for the gulper shark is 5 ft (150 cm). Gulper shark pups average from 1 ft - 1.4 ft (30-42 cm) total length at birth. Precise details of the size, age, and growth, such as size at maturity for the gulper shark, are currently unknown.


The gulper shark is ovoviviparous with a gestation period of about 2 years. At birth, each pup measures approximately 1 ft - 1.4 ft (30-42 cm) total length. Further details of the reproductive biology of the gulper shark have yet to be determined.