Leafscraper shark (Centrophorus squamosus)

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



The leafscraper shark Centrophorus squamosus is a moderately large deep water dogfish 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 eyes. The leafscraper 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 western coasts of Scotland and south-west Ireland, although may be under-recorded.

Global distribution



Centrophorus squamosus is a benthopelagic species which can be found offshore with a depth range of 150-1200 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 broadly angular but not strongly extended.

Additional information

Unlike the gulper shark Centrophorus granulosus, the tooth-like projections on the of the leafscraper shark are tapering and leaf-like and on an elevated narrow to broad stalk. Furthermore the free rear tips of the pectoral fins are broadly angular and do not reach past the first dorsal fin spine.


  1. Clarke, M.W., Connolly, P.L. & Bracken, J.J., 2001. Aspects of reproduction of the deep water sharks Centroscymnus coelolepis and Centrophorus squamosus from west of Ireland and Scotland. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 81, 1019-1029.

  2. 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

  3. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2008-02-18


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

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


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Centrophorus squamosus Leafscraper 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: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/61

Last Updated: 24/06/2008