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Scyliorhinus canicula  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Small-spotted catshark
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| Native range | All suitable habitat | PointMap | Year 2100 |
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Scyliorhinus canicula   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Scyliorhinus canicula (Small-spotted catshark)
Scyliorhinus canicula
Picture by Aquarium Kiel

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks) > Scyliorhinidae (Cat sharks)
Etymology: Scyliorhinus: Greek, skylla = a kind of shark + Greek, rhinos = nose (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; demersal; depth range 10 - 780 m (Ref. 56504), usually 80 - 100 m (Ref. 81056).   Subtropical; 63°N - 12°N, 18°W - 36°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 57.0, range 41 - 64 cm
Max length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 244); common length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4645); max. published weight: 1.3 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 12 years (Ref. 81067)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 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).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

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).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

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.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Compagno, Leonard J.V. | Collaborators

Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00224 (0.00178 - 0.00282), b=3.09 (3.02 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.7   ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.20; tm=9; Fec=96).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (62 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.