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Mustelus canis  (Mitchill, 1815)

Dusky smooth-hound
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Mustelus canis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Mustelus canis (Dusky smooth-hound)
Mustelus canis
Picture by Flescher, D.

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

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks) > Triakidae (Houndsharks) > Triakinae
Etymology: Mustelus: Latin, mustela, -ae = weasel (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range ? - 800 m (Ref. 55584), usually 18 - 200 m (Ref. 55309).   Subtropical; 42°N - 44°S, 100°W - 46°W (Ref. 55309)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 102.0, range 95 - 100 cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 244); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6077); max. published weight: 12.2 kg (Ref. 40637)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

A small, slim shark. Well-serrated dorsal fins, second nearly as large as first (Ref. 26938).

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

Western Atlantic: Massachusetts to Florida (USA), northern and western Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas; southern Brazil to northern Argentina; also western Gulf of Mexico and Antilles (Ref. 26938). Northwest Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951). Allopatric with Mustelus mustelus and sympatric with Mustelus norrisi. One of the two new allopatric species of canis- norrisi-like smooth-hounds in this region is often confused with this species (Ref. 244). The subspecies Mustelus canis insularis, occurring at several Caribbean islands, was identified by Heemstra (Ref. 27770).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found on continental and insular shelves and upper slopes, ranging from shallow inshore waters and the intertidal to 200 m, occasionally down to 579 m (Ref. 244). Occasionally found in freshwater. It is doubtful that this species can live in fresh water for an extended period of time (Ref. 244). Feeds on large crustaceans, mainly crabs, but also heavily on lobsters (Homarus) (Ref. 244). Probably non-territorial. Off the Atlantic coast of the USA, this species is migratory (Ref. 244). Viviparous (with a yolk-sac placenta), with 4 to 20 young in a litter. Longevity given as 7 years (Ref. 775) but appears too low. Utilized fresh, dried-salted, and smoked (Ref. 9987).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Viviparous (Ref. 26281, 35307, 50449), with a yolk-sac placenta; with 4 to 20 young per litter. Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).

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. (Ref. 244)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

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

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00219 (0.00135 - 0.00355), b=3.13 (2.99 - 3.27), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (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=0.04-0.43; tm=2-5; tmax=7; Fec= 4-20).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (87 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.