PORT PHILLIP BAY


Whitespotted Dogfish 

Squalus acanthias Linnaeus, 1758

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Vertebrae: 96-117 (precaudal 75-79)
Jaw teeth (upper): 13-1-13
Jaw teeth (lower): 11-1-11

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

Order level detail.
A large and diverse group of sharks with two dorsal fins usually preceded by a spine, the first well before the pelvic fins, 5 gill slits and skin densely covered in denticles. All lack an anal fin.

Family level detail.
Moderately small sharks with an almost cylindrical body, low, widely-spaced dorsal fins, the first arising well before the pelvic fins and the last well before the tail, no anal fin, a strong keel on the side of the tail base, large spiracles and similar blade-like teeth in both jaws.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Order:
Squaliformes
Family:
Squalidae
Genus:
Squalus
Species:
acanthias

General Description

Body long, slender; snout long, pointed; two widely-spaced dorsal fins, each beginning with a prominent spine, the first arising well behind pectoral-fin base; pectoral fin large; anterior nasal flap single-lobed; blade-like teeth in both jaws. Bluish-grey on top, with scattered white spots; pectoral, pelvic and tail with pale rear margins; body pale below. To 1 m.

Biology

This species is common off Victoria and feeds on fishes and crustaceans. Females give birth to live young.

Habitat

Inshore bays and estuaries, and on the continental shelf and slop, from intertidal depths to at least 650 m.

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Worldwide. Southern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Sharks

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1 m

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

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

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

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

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, Whitespotted Dogfish, Squalus acanthias, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6582

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