Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758)
Lesser spotted dogfish
Scyliorhinus canicula
photo by Aquarium Kiel

Family:  Scyliorhinidae (Cat sharks)
Max. size:  100 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 1,320.0 g; max. reported age: 12 years
Environment:  demersal; depth range 10 - 780 m
Distribution:  Northeast Atlantic: Norway and British Isles south to Senegal, including the Mediterranean. Possibly Côte d'Ivoire. Some populational differences exist between Catulus duhameli (a name for the Mediterranean canicula based on size) and this species which may eventually be expressed as subspecies. The only reported observation of this species in Crimean waters was in 1937, which is possibly erroneous (Ref. 897).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. A slender, dark-spotted catshark with 8-9 dusky saddles (often obscure or absent), greatly expanded anterior nasal flaps, reaching mouth and covering shallow nasoral grooves, labial furrows on lower jaw only, first dorsal fin originates well behind the pelvic fins, second dorsal fin much smaller than first (Ref. 244).
Biology:  Most common catshark in coastal waters of Europe (Ref. 32804). Inhabits continental shelves and uppermost slopes. Found on sandy, coralline, algal, gravel or muddy bottoms. Occurs mainly between 10-100 m depth in the northeast Atlantic and up to 400 m depth in the Mediterranean Sea (Ref. 88187) and from 288-780 m in the eastern Ionian Sea (Ref. 56504). They sometimes occur in midwater. Nocturnal species, males resting on substrate and females hiding in shallow (0.5-1.5 m depth) caves and crevices during the day (Ref. 88835). Feed on a variety of benthic invertebrates, including mollusks, crustaceans, small cephalopods, polychaete worms, and small bony fishes (Ref. 244, 11889). Males have been found to forage in shallow prey-rich areas with soft sediment or areas covered with filamentous algae (Ref. 88836). Oviparous, with a single egg laid per oviduct at a time. Detect weak electric fields generated by other organisms (e.g. potential prey) (Ref. 10311). Utilized fresh and dried-salted for human consumption, also for oil and fishmeal.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 December 2008 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: Franke, Andrea - 18.11.14
Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 23.03.94

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