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Squalus acanthias  Linnaeus, 1758

Picked dogfish
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Squalus acanthias
Picture by Murch, A.


Australia country information

Common names: Piked dogfish, Spiny dogfish, Spotted spiny dogfish
Occurrence: native
Salinity: brackish
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: minor commercial | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Recorded from the Great Australian Bight, Tasmania (common) and Victoria (common). Not of great market value because flesh is said to be coarse (Ref. 6871). Also Ref. 7300.
National Checklist:
Country Information: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994
National Database:

Classification / Names

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Squaliformes (Bramble, sleeper and dogfish sharks) > Squalidae (Dogfish sharks)
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL

Common names from other countries

Issue
Squalus suckleyi (Girard, 1855) has been resurected by Ebert et al. (2010: Ref. 85328) in the North Pacific where it replaces Squalus acanthias Linnaeus, 1758.

Main reference

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 160 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 247); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. ); max. published weight: 9.1 kg (Ref. 11389); max. reported age: 75 years (Ref. 39247)

Length at first maturity
Lm 81.4, range 69 - 100 cm

Environment

Marine; brackish; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 1460 m (Ref. 26346), usually 50 - 300 m (Ref. 43939)

Climate / Range

Temperate; 7°C - 15°C (Ref. 247); 81°N - 57°S, 82°W - 171°W (Ref. 247)

Distribution

Western Atlantic: Greenland to Argentina; Eastern Atlantic: Iceland and and the Barents Sea to Western Sahara and the Canary Islands; Angola to South Africa. Indo-Pacific; the Mediterranean and Black Seas (Ref. 247) Reports from off New Guinea are doubtful (Ref. 6871). All records from North Pacific refer to Squalus suckleyi (Girard, 1855) (Ref. 85328). Appendix II (northern hemisphere populations) of the Bonn Convention (2009).
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Short description

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0; Vertebrae: 101 - 109. This moderately sized species is distinguished by the following set of characters: very slender body, abdomen width 7.2-9.2% TL; narrow head, width at mouth 7.9-10.2% TL; mouth width 1.7-2.2 times its horizontal prenarial length; moderately long snout, preoral length 2.2-2.5 times horizontal prenarial length, 8.5-9.8% TL; single-lobed anterior nasal flap; small dorsal fins, raked, first dorsal-fin height 1.1-1.3 times its inner margin length, second dorsal-fin height 0.7-0.9 times its inner margin length; origin of first dorsal-fin located just posterior to pectoral-fin free rear tips; exposed bases of dorsal-fin spines relatively narrow, 0.4-0.7% TL; short spine of first dorsal fin, exposed length 1.7-2.7% TL; pectoral-fin anterior margin 1.9-3.1 times its inner margin length; preventral caudal margin 1.9-2.6 times inner margin of pelvic fin; pale caudal fin with poorly demarcated, whitish margin, blackish caudal blotch at the apex of upper lobe, anterior margins of both lobes whitish in juveniles; dark caudal bar absent; dorsal and lateral surfaces of body bluish grey with an irregular array of moderately-large white spots; whitish ventrally; flank denticles tricuspid; monospondylous centra 41-45, precaudal centra 74-79, total centra 100-105 (Ref. 58446).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Possibly the most abundant living shark (Ref. 247). An inshore and offshore dogfish of the continental and insular shelf and upper slopes (Ref. 247, 11230). Usually near the bottom, but also in midwater and at the surface (Ref. 26346); occurs mainly between 10-200 m depth (Ref. 247). Males and gravid females usually found shallower than non-gravid females. Tolerates brackish water, often found in enclosed bays and estuaries. Reported to enter freshwater (Ref. 11980) but cannot survive there for more than a few hours (Ref. 247). Highly migratory species, used to be observed in large foraging schools with up to thousands of individuals, usually segregated by size and /or sex, with schools of large gravid females preferentially targeted by fisheries. Their latitudinal (north-south) and depth-related (nearshore-offshore) movements appear to be correlated with their preferred temperature (Ref. 247). Tagging experiments showed that populations in the northern North Sea and northwest Scotland made winter migrations to off Norway and summer migrations to Scotland (Ref. 88880, 88881). Transoceanic migrations recorded, but rare (Ref. 88864). Longevity in the northern Atlantic is about 35-50 years (Ref. 88882), but most live only 20-24 years (Ref. 88187). Growth is slow. At sexual maturity, males are 60-70 cm long, females 75-90 cm (Ref. 35388). Gestation period is 2 years (Ref. 36731). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205). Feeds on a diversity of prey, ranging from comb jellyfish, squid, mackarel and herring to a wide array of benthic fishes, shrimps, crabs and even sea cucumbers (Ref. 93252). The only species of horned sharks that can inflict toxins with its tail. Detects weak electric fields generated by potential prey (Ref. 10311). Utilized for human consumption, liver oil, vitamins, sand paper, leather, fertilizer, etc. (Ref. 247, 27436). Eaten fried, broiled, and baked (Ref. 9988).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd+3bd)

Threat to humans

  Venomous (Ref. 4690)



Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805)
PD50 = 0.5000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Trophic Level (Ref. 69278)
4.4   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.

Resilience (Ref. 69278)
Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (rm=0.034; K=0.03-0.07; tm=10-30; tmax=75; Fec=1)

Vulnerability (Ref. 59153)
High to very high vulnerability (68 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Medium