Ecology of Squalus acanthias
Main Ref. Wetherbee, B.M., S.H. Gruber and E. Cortes, 1990
Marine - Neritic
  • supra-littoral zone
  • littoral zone
  • sublittoral zone
Marine - Oceanic
  • epipelagic
  • mesopelagic
  • epipelagic
  • abyssopelagic
  • hadopelagic
  • estuaries/lagoons/brackish seas
  • mangroves
  • marshes/swamps
  • rivers/streams
  • lakes/ponds
  • caves
  • exclusively in caves
Highighted items on the list are where Squalus acanthias may be found.
Remarks Common in cold waters; usually at temperatures of 6-15°C (Ref. 5951); inhabits rocky regions (Ref. 9137). A carnivore (Ref. 9137) and opportunist feeder (Ref. 43115). Feeds on fishes (mackerel, sand lance, silver hake, white hake, haddock, pollock, Atlantic salmon, menhaden, winter flounder and longhorn sculpin), cephalopods (e.g. squids), amphipods, crabs, shrimps, molluscs, ctenophores, echinoderms (e.g. sea cucumber), polychaete worms, sea anemones, jellyfish, and red, green and brown algae; herring, capelin and cod found to be important foods (Ref. 5951, 28070). Smaller individuals (<60cm TL) show a preference for crustaceans, bony fish are the major prey item in larger specimens (Ref. 28070). Newly born are prone to predaceous bony fishes and sharks, while juveniles and adults may fall prey to swordfish and grey seals (Ref. 5951). Parasites of the species include: 1 protozoan, 2 monogeneans, 5 trematodes, 4 cestodes, 5 nematodes, 1 hirudineid and 1 copepod (Ref. 5951).


Substrate Ref.
Special habitats
Special habitats Ref.


Associated with
Association remarks


Feeding type mainly animals (troph. 2.8 and up)
Feeding type ref Ebert, D.A., L.J.V. Compagno and P.D. Cowley, 1992
Feeding habit hunting macrofauna (predator)
Feeding habit ref
Trophic level(s)
Original sample Unfished population Remark
Estimation method Troph s.e. Troph s.e.
From diet composition 4.37 0.41 4.13 0.58 Troph of adults from 2 studies.
Ref. Bowman, R.E., C.E. Stillwell, W.L. Michaels and M.D. Grosslein, 2000
From individual food items 4.50 0.99 Trophic level estimated from a number of food items using a randomized resampling routine.
(e.g. 346)
(e.g. cnidaria)
Entered by Luna, Susan M. on 06.26.91
Modified by Franke, Andrea on 12.12.11
Checked by Sta. Iglesia, Drina on 05.23.01
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