Viper Shark (dogfish)

Most data on these fish is based on observations near Japan.
Viper Shark (dogfish) Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Trigonognathus kabeyai
Viper Shark (dogfish) Physical Characteristics
Not recorded
Up to 1.7 lbs.
Viper Shark (dogfish) Distribition

The viper shark, also called the viper dogfish, is an elusive creature that swims no increased than 490 toes beneath sea stage.

His threatening fangs impale his prey, although the jaw is massive sufficient to swallow many fish complete. With a modern, black physique, he simply is hid from the bigeye tuna that hunts him within the Pacific Ocean.

4 Unimaginable Viper Shark (Dogfish) Information!

  • The viper dogfish is extremely uncommon, so there may be little or no details about its lifespan, weight vary, pace, and many others.
  • This species was first found in 1986 by the crew of the Seiryo-Maru off the southern coast of Japan.
  • Researchers consider that this species dates again 41 million years.
  • The common being pregnant of a dogfish lasts between 1.5 and a couple of years, although the precise gestation interval of the viper dogfish is unknown.

Viper Shark (Dogfish) Classification and Scientific Name

The scientific identify for the viper shark, which additionally goes by the identify viper dogfish, is Trigonognathus kabeyai. They’re a part of the Etmopteridae household of the Chondrichthyes class.

Their identify comes from the Greek phrases “trigonon” and “gnathus,” describing their triangular jaw. The second a part of the identify is for Hiromichi Kabeya, who was the captain of the boat which first found them.

Viper Shark (Dogfish) Appearance

When you’ve got ever seen a viper dogfish, you know the way intimidating and imply they’ll look. The triangular jaw, fang-like enamel, and lengthy black physique are all indicators that you’re coping with a ferocious predator of the deep sea. Alongside their physique (which reaches as much as 21 inches in size), you’ll see two dorsal fins with sharp spikes, paired with the dermal denticles. Although there have been few viper dogfish sighted, the biggest male recorded was 19 inches in size, weighing just below a pound (0.95 lbs.). The most important feminine recorded is barely bigger at 21 inches lengthy, with a weight of 1.7 lbs.

As if these outstanding options weren’t sufficient, this shark additionally has a flat head with a somewhat blunt snout, making for an fascinating juxtaposition with its unimaginable size. Although they stand out with their lengthy and slender fangs, their anterior enamel groove in the direction of the mouth. On either side, you’ll see between 6-10 enamel on the highest and seven-10 enamel on the underside for either side, although the enamel develop into smaller as they attain the nook of the dogfish’s mouth. Although the lateral enamel sit on high of each other, the higher enamel kind an overbite.

Since this fish swims at such unimaginable depths, its physique is roofed by photophores that launch gentle to light up the trail in entrance of it. The fins, nonetheless, are pretty straightforward to see by means of. They actually have a translucent patch that covers their oval, black eyes.

Headshot of a viper dogfish (Trigonognathus kabeyai)
The viper shark (dogfish) has a triangular jaw, fang-like enamel, and an extended, black physique.Artistic Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Viper Shark (Dogfish) Distribution, Inhabitants, and Habitat

The overall variety of viper dogfish on the earth just isn’t presently recognized, although they don’t seem to be thought of to be anyplace near threatened or extinct. The species is so uncommon that official numbers have but to be recorded. Nonetheless, they’re thought of Least Concern by the IUCN. There’s no business demand for the inhabitants as a delicacy.

The place to Discover Viper Dogfish and Tips on how to Catch Them

The most typical place the place the viper dogfish might be discovered is within the Pacific Ocean. Extra particularly, it has been seen off the coast of southern Japan, close to the Bonin Islands, close to the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and close to northern Taitung County. A lot of the viper dogfish which were studied have been discovered off the Kii Peninsula, which is in Japan. Although dwell viper dogfish hasn’t been seen in lots of different areas, some specimens have been extracted from the stomachs of different fish in these areas.

All through the day, they are often discovered at totally different depths. Throughout the heat of the day, these dogfish are discovered between 890 and 1,180 toes deep alongside higher continental slopes and seamounts. Within the chilly of the evening, they arrive as much as 490 toes deep.

Catching the viper dogfish might be difficult. Since they dwell so deeply within the ocean, they aren’t generally fished. In truth, the one ones ever caught appear to be by chance.

Viper Shark (Dogfish) Predators and Prey

The viper shark seems fairly intimidating already, however watching one eat their prey is a completely totally different expertise. Their carnivorous weight loss plan permits them to seize meals of all sizes with their ferocious jaw of their pure habitat. As soon as the prey is much sufficient previous their enamel, this dogfish impales them to seize their meal. Because it has a somewhat massive gape, it’s straightforward for them to swallow massive fish in a single gulp, which isn’t one thing that different dogfish can declare. Whereas different dogfish sharks have noticed-like enamel, the viper shark’s enamel are slender to pierce its prey.

To attain this impact, there’s no suborbital muscle. As an alternative, the jaw protrudes on account of the hyomandibular bone.

What Eats Viper Sharks?

There may be a lot left to study in regards to the deep waters of the ocean, however the principle predators that we all know of are the bigeye tuna and the sickle pomfret. This fish might produce other predators within the deep waters of the ocean which have but to be found.

What Do Viper Sharks Eat?

With a carnivorous weight loss plan, the standard weight loss plan of the viper shark usually contains bony fish. Whereas there may be not an intensive report of their typical prey, the lanternfish are constantly on their radar.

Viper Shark (Dogfish) Copy and Lifespan

Because the availability of this fish is so scarce, little is understood in regards to the copy of the viper shark. As an alternative of laying eggs, it offers delivery to dwell younger. Although some litters have included about two dozen pups, researchers consider that the typical litter is not more than 26 pups.

Throughout gestation, the pups are nourished by yolk. Nearly all of dogfish have an extended gestation interval of anyplace from 1.5 to 2 years. Sadly, the precise period of time that the viper shark stays pregnant just isn’t nicely documented.

Sexual maturity for the viper shark doesn’t happen till the fish is no less than 17 (males) or 20 (females) inches. Their projected lifespan stays unknown.

Viper Shark (Dogfish) in Fishing and Cooking

For probably the most half, the rarity of the viper dogfish and the issue in acquiring it has left it with out a lot of a business market. Whereas different variations of dogfish are utilized in totally different recipes, there’s no actual worth to catching or cooking this fish.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here:
  2. Fishbase, Available here:
  3. Planet Shark Divers, Available here:

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