PORT PHILLIP BAY


Gummy Shark 

Mustelus antarcticus Günther, 1870

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Vertebrae: 125-133 (precaudal 79-86)
Jaw teeth (upper): 31 to 35:31 to 35
Jaw teeth (lower): 37 to 42:37 to 42

A detailed description of mersitics is in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Family level detail.
Small to moderately-sized streamlined sharks with long snouts, two widely-spaced dorsal fins that lack spines, the first with the fin-base positioned before the pelvic fins; the second dorsal fin originating before the anal fin and smaller than the first dorsal fin; tail with a large, distinctly-notched upper lobe; outer margins of teeth with coarse serrations. Found worldwide in tropical and temperate coastal seas with 47 species.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Order:
Carcharhiniformes
Family:
Triakidae
Genus:
Mustelus
Species:
antarcticus

General Description

Body very slender, streamlined; two widely-spaced dorsal fins, the second only slightly smaller than the first; teeth in jaws smooth and flattened, arranged in a pavement pattern. Upper surfaces grey, often with small white spots. To 1.8 m.

Biology

Gummy Sharks are more active at night than during the day. They are an important commercial species in southern waters and are sold as "flake". Numbers have declined due to overfishing. This harmless species has crushing teeth well-suited to a diet of shellfish.

Habitat

Occasionally enters coastal bays and large estuaries, although prefers deeper offshore waters, to a depth of 300 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Sharks

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor Midwater

Max Size

1.8 m

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Although considered harmless to humans, has the potential to bite.

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Gummy Shark, Mustelus antarcticus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6562

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