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threatened and/or endangered

Smooth Dogfish Mustelus canis


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Smooth Dogfish
credit: JC Schou/CCSA

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Family: Carcharhinidae, Requiem Sharks view all from this family

Description Olive grey or brown, and may have shades of yellow or grayish white. Slender, small with separated dorsal fins. Use flat, blunt teeth to crush and grind prey with denticles on tongue and palate. Have no dorsal or anal spines. Scales are lance-shaped with 3-4 ridges in parallel line.

Similar Species Smoothhound (M. norrisi),Smalleye Smoothhound (M. higmani),.

Habitat Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Ocean or bay shallows, Open ocean.

Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas.

Discussion Primarily a nocturnal species and a scavenger and opportunistic predator, the dusky smooth-hound feeds primarily on large crustaceans, including lobsters, shrimp, crabs, small fish and mollusks. Reproduces in litters numbering as few as 4 and as many as 20 (by larger females) during late spring or early summer.