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Squatina squatina  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Angelshark
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Image of Squatina squatina (Angelshark)
Squatina squatina
Picture by Hernández-González, C.L.

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

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Squatiniformes (Angel sharks) > Squatinidae (Angel sharks)
Etymology: Squatina: Latin, squatina, -ae = a kind of shark (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 5 - 150 m (Ref. 247).   Temperate; 63°N - 21°N, 19°W - 37°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 126 - 169 cm
Max length : 183 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 247); 244.0 cm TL (female); common length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. ); max. published weight: 80.0 kg (Ref. 35388)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0. Broad flattened body, with enlarged pectoral and pelvic fins, no anal fin. Eyes and large spiracles dorsally. Gill openings at the sides of the head. The mouth is terminal. Coloration variable, from grey to reddish or greenish-brown with scattered small white spots and blackish dots dorsally (Ref. 78469). No ocelli on body (Ref. 247).

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

Northeast Atlantic: southern Norway, Sweden and Shetland Islands to Morocco and West Sahara, including the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (Ref. 247). Range and abundance declining severly throughout its range; proposed legal protection in Britain (Ref.58085). Appendix III (Mediterranean) of the Bern Convention (2002). Annex V of the OSPAR Convention (2010).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A benthic species that occurs inshore, on coasts and along the continental shelf; may enter estuaries (Ref. 247, 58085). Found mainly on sand or mud bottoms; sluggish by day, lying buried with eyes protruding. Also utilizes areas with macroalgae, kelp or rocks (Ref. 88920). Nocturnal species, swims off bottom at night. Feeds mainly on flatfishes and other benthic fishes, but also on skates, crustaceans and molluscs, with one record of swallowed cormorant (Ref. 247, 28070). Moves to deeper waters during winter, returning to the shallower depths in the spring (Ref. 88187), moving northwards in summer. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Females generally grow larger than males (Ref. 58137). Detects weak electric fields generated by other organisms (e.g. potential prey) (Ref. 10311). Utilized fresh and dried salted for human consumption, and possibly for oil and fishmeal (Ref. 247). Reaches 250 cm (Ref. 35388).

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

Ovoviviparous, produce 7-25 pups/litter, with litter number increasing with female size; gestation 8-10 months (born Dec-Feb in Mediterranean, July in England), size at birth about 24-30 cm TL (Ref. 58085). Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Full term embryos weighed 189-200 g; no egg capsules found around ova or embryos; a biannual reproductive cycle is likely the case for this species (Ref. 32746).

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 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

  Critically Endangered (CR) (A2bcd+3d+4bcd)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic




Human uses

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

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Common names
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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=0.00871 (0.00373 - 0.02035), b=3.02 (2.80 - 3.24), based on LWR estimates for species & (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.1   ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=9-20).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (80 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.