Bigeye Sixgill Shark, Hexanchus nakamurai Click to enlarge image
A Bigeye Sixgill Shark caught on hook and line at a depth of 400 m, from the charter vessel Blue Billie, north-west of Lord Howe Island, 2 June 2012. Image: Ian Kerr
© Ian Kerr

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    nakamurai
    Genus
    Hexanchus
    Family
    Hexanchidae
    Order
    Hexanchiformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to around 1.8 m in length. The fish in the images is 1.56 m long.

Introduction

As its standard name implies, the species has particularly large eyes. It lives at depths from 90 m to 600 m in tropical and warm temperate waters.

Identification

The Bigeye Sixgill Shark has 6 pairs of gill slits, large eyes, comb-like teeth and a long upper caudal fin lobe.


I.46072-001 - Hexanchus nakamurai
I.46072-001 - Hexanchus nakamurai Image: Mark McGrouther
© Australian Museum

Habitat

Shelf and slope waters between 90 m and 600 m.

Distribution

The species has a patchy worldwide distribution in tropical and warm temperate waters.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



Feeding and diet

Little is known of its diet. Stomach contents have included fishes and one crustacean.

Further reading

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Edition 2. CSIRO. Pp. 644, Pl. 1-91.