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NEFSC Apex Predators Program

spiny dogfish Spiny dogfish

SPINY DOGFISH

Squalus acanthias

SIZE

To about 4.5 ft (1.4 m).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Dorsal fins bother preceded by a single spine
  • Anal fin absent
  • Body with scattered small white spots
  • Color slate-gray or brownish-gray above, pale gray to white below
  • Interdorsal ridge weak

DISTRIBUTION

Greenland to Florida and Cuba. Uncommon south of North Carolina.

HABITAT

Coastal and offshore; surface waters to 3,000 ft (914 m), usually near bottom in waters 43-52°F (6-11°C).

SIMILAR SPECIES

Smooth dogfish and Atlantic sharpnose shark have anal fins, lack dorsal fin spines. Smooth dogfish lacks white spots

MORE INFORMATION


Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

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(File Modified Aug. 08 2017)