Gulper shark (Centrophorus granulosus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



The gulper shark Centrophorus granulosus is a moderately large deep water member of the dogfish family reaching up to 160 cm in length. It has a uniform drab-gray dorsal colouring and a slightly paler ventral colouring. It has a moderately long and broad snout and large reflective green eyes. The gulper shark does not have an anal fin and has two dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin is quite short and the second is relatively high when compared to similar species. Both have prominent spines. Lateral tooth-like projections are present on the body.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found off the coast of south-west England and south Ireland.

Global distribution



Centrophorus granulosus is a bathydemersal fully marine species which can be found offshore with a depth range of 50-1200 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Moderatly sized shark reaching up to 160 cm in length.
  • Drab uniform colouring from grey to olive green.
  • First dorsal fin low but not particularly elongate.
  • Large reflective green eyes.
  • Small bladelike teeth larger in the lower-jaw than the upper-jaw.
  • Posterior tips of the pectoral fins are noticeably long and angular.

Additional information

Despite the relative abundance of Centrophorus granulosus and frequent commercial exploitation around the world, many aspects of its biology remain relatively unknown. It is known to feed on hake, lantern fish and other deepwater bony fish as well as squid (Compagno, 1984).

Unlike the leafscraper shark Centrophorus squamosus, the tooth-like projections on the of the gulper shark are flat and diamond-shaped without an elevated stalk. Furthermore the free rear tips of the pectoral fins are pointed and reach past the first dorsal fin spine.


  1. 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 Fisheries Synopsies, 125, 1-249

  2. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line], 2008-02-18

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-06-23


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Centrophorus granulosus Gulper shark. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 23-06-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 24/06/2008