v. 4.1 – 27 Oct. 2017  view/download PDF

7 families • 10 genera • 16 species

Family ODONTASPIDIDAE Sand Tiger Sharks

Carcharias Rafinesque 1810    from the Greek karcharias, man-eating sharks, derived from karcharos, jagged, referring to a shark’s rasp-like skin

Carcharias taurus Rafinesque 1810    bull, presumably referring to stocky body

Carcharias tricuspidatus Day 1878    –atus, provided with: tricuspid teeth, referring to how “awl-shaped” teeth have a “small basal cusp” (or cusplet) on both sides of smooth main cusp

Odontaspis Agassiz 1838    odonto-, teeth; aspis, viper, probably referring to slender, curved and awl-like teeth

Odontaspis ferox (Risso 1810)    fierce, possibly referring to what Risso described as its “La voracité extrême” and/or toothy and ferocious countenance

Odontaspis noronhai (Maul 1955)    in honor of Adolfo César de Noronha (1873-1963), late director of the Funchal Museum (Madeira), where type is housed

Family MITSUKURINIDAE Goblin Shark

Mitsukurina Jordan 1898    ina, belonging to: University of Tokyo zoologist Kakichi Mitsukuri (1858-1909), who presented type (see M. owstoni) to Jordan to be described

Mitsukurina owstoni Jordan 1898    in honor of Alan Owston (1853–1915), businessman, yachtsman and collector of Asian wildlife, who secured type from a fisherman


Pseudocarcharias Cadenat 1963    pseudo-, false, i.e., not a true Carcharias, in which type species had originally been placed

Pseudocarcharias kamoharai (Matsubara 1936)    in honor of ichthyologist Toshiji Kamohara (1901-1972), Kochi University, who secured type at a fish market and presented it to Matsubara

Family MEGACHASMIDAE Megamouth Shark

Megachasma Taylor, Compagno & Struhsaker 1983    mega-, large; chasma, yawning hole or open mouth, referring to unusually large oral cavity

Megachasma pelagios Taylor, Compagno & Struhsaker 1983    of the open sea, referring to oceanic, epipelagic habitat

Family ALOPIIDAE Thresher Sharks

Alopias Rafinesque 1810    alopex, fox, referring to its ancient vernacular “fox shark,” from its supposed cunning (ancients believed that when it took a bait, it swallowed the hook until it got to the cord, which it bit off and so escaped)

Alopias pelagicus Nakamura 1935    pelagios, of the open sea, referring to its oceanic, epipelagic habitat

Alopias superciliosus (Lowe 1840)    super, over and above; ciliosus, haughty or having a raised eyebrow, referring to enormous upward-looking eyes set high on head and/or marked groove over eyes

Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre 1788)    fox-like (as for genus)

Family CETORHINIDAE Basking Shark

Cetorhinus Blainville 1816    ketos, whale, referring to its size; rhine, rasp (often but translated as rhynchos, snout), referring to its rough skin

Cetorhinus maximus (Gunnerus 1765)    greatest, being the largest known fish at the time (superceded by Rhincodon typus)

Family LAMNIDAE Mackerel Sharks
3 genera • 5 species

Carcharodon Smith 1838    odon, tooth, referring to large, triangular and serrated teeth, similar to those in Carcharias (Odontaspidae)

Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus 1758)    from the Greek karcharias, man-eating shark, derived from karcharos, jagged, referring to a shark’s rasp-like skin

Isurus Rafinesque 1810    isos, equal; oura, tail, referring to lunate caudal fin

Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque 1810    oxy, sharp; rynchus, nose, referring to pointed snout

Isurus paucus Guitart 1966    scarce, referring to the relative rarity of this species compared to I. oxyrinchus

Lamna Cuvier 1816    from the Greek lamia, a large and voracious shark, originally from Lamia in Greek mythology, daughter of King Belos, who revenged the murder of her children by killing the children of others, and who behaved so cruelly that her face turned into a nightmarish mask

Lamna ditropis Hubbs & Follett 1947    di-, two; tropis, keel, i.e., double-keeled, referring to the rudder-like projections on either side of tail

Lamna nasus (Bonnaterre 1788)    nose, referring to moderately long conical snout