Morphology Data of Scyliorhinus canicula
Identification keys
Main Ref. Soares, K.D.A. and M.R. De Carvalho, 2019
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features
Body shape lateral
Cross section oval
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth
Type of scales

This species is distinguished from all its congeners by the following characters: shallow nasoral grooves and laterally situated posterior nasal flaps (vs. no grooves and posterior flaps on the posterior border of the excurrent apertures in congeners, except in S. duhamelii); distance between the anterior nasal flaps 6-7.5 times smaller than the anterior nasal flap width (vs. 3.5-5 times smaller in S. duhamelii; two times in the other species); lower labial furrow 2.1-2.2 times smaller than mouth width (vs. more than 3 times in other species, except S. duhamelii). Colouration: color pattern with dark spots well-defined, predominantly smaller than spiracles (vs. no dark spots in S. capensis, S. comoroensis, S. hesperius, S. meadi, S. torazame, S. torrei; reticulated pattern in S. rotifer; dark spots predominantly larger than spiracles in S. cervigoni, S. garmani, S. haeckelii, S. stellaris; diffuse spots in S. duhamelii); clasper with rough terminal dermal cover (also found only in S. capensis) (Ref. 120402).

Description: Less than conspicuous characters that help distinguish this species: anterior nasal flaps covering the upper lip (vs. not covering the upper lip in congeners, except S. cervigoni, S. comoroensis, S. duhamelii, S. garmani, S. stellaris); spots spread on the entire dorsolateral surface (vs. spots restricted to the saddles in S. boa, S. cervigoni, S. haeckelii); oral canal of lateral line system with 8-10 pores (vs. 5-6 in S. hesperius; 10-12 in S. duhamelii; 9-13 in S. torrei); commissural teeth presenting 3 or 4 cusplets (vs. 2 or less in the other species, except in S. boa, S. capensis, S. hesperius); interdorsal space 0.6-1.0 times the anal base (vs. larger than the anal base in S. boa, S. cabofriensis, S. haeckelii, S. hesperius, S. meadi, S. retifer, S. torrei, S. ugoi); pelvic fins triangular (vs. subrectangular in S. garmani, S. stellaris, S. torazame); males with pelvic apron extending through almost the entire length of the pelvic inner margins (vs. extending to only 2/3 in the other species, except in S. capensis, S. duhamelii, S. torazame, S. torrei); with terminal 3 cartilage (vs. without in S. cabofriensis, S. cervigoni, S. comoroensis, S. duhamelii, S. haeckelii, S. stellaris, S. torrei, S. ugoi); dorsal terminal 2 cartilage elongated and corresponding to 1/4 of dorsal terminal cartilage (vs. reduced and subtriangular in S. cabofriensis, S. capensis, S. cervigoni, S. haeckelii, S. ugoi; corresponding to 1/3 in S. boa, S. comoroensis; same length of dorsal terminal cartilage in S. torazame); neurocranium with basal plate width 58.2-65.1% NL (vs. 68.2-69.3% in S. boa; 65.8-75.3% in S. capensis; 71.9-82.6% in S. torazame; 67.4-69.5% in S. torrei); distance between nasal apertures 27.8-37.6% NL (vs. 12.8-15.6% in S. boa; 20.1-26.9% in S. capensis; 17.9-21.6% in S. hesperius; 13.9-25.6% in S. rotifer; 15.0-18.3% in S. torrei); optic capsules width less than 2 times their length (vs. 2.7-2.8 times in S. boa, S. capensis, S. hesperius, S. meadi, S. stellaris); upper teeth 40-61 (vs. 33-42 in S. torrei); lower teeth 36-50 (vs. 48-85 in S. capensis); monospondylous vertebrae 34-40 (vs. 44-46 in S. capensis; 40-45 in S. cervigoni; 48 S. garmani; 46-48 in S. meadi; 43-47 in S. stellaris); adult males between 37.0-52.0 cm TL and adult females between 37.0-56.0 cm TL (vs. 26.9 cm and 29.4 cm in S. torrei, respectively; greater than 60.0 cm TL in S. capensis, S. cervigoni, S. stellaris) (Ref. 120402)

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Scyliorhinus canicula

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb


Dorsal fin(s)

Fins number
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total
Soft-rays total
Adipose fin

Caudal fin


Anal fin(s)

Fins number
Spines total
Soft-rays total

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  
Pelvics Attributes  
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Comments & Corrections
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