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Dusky smooth-hound

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Title: Dusky smooth-hound  
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Subject: Smooth-hound, Triakidae, Houndshark, Atlantic weasel shark, Blackbelly lanternshark
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Dusky smooth-hound

Dusky smooth-hound
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Triakidae
Genus: Mustelus
Species: M. canis
Binomial name
Mustelus canis
(Mitchill, 1815)
Range of the dusky smooth-hound

Allomycter dissutus Guitart Manday, 1972
Mustelus canis insularis Heemstra, 1997
Squalus canis Mitchill, 1815

The dusky smooth-hound or smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis) is a species of houndshark, and part of the family Triakidae.[1] This shark is an olive grey or brown in color, and may have shades of yellow or grayish white. Females live to 16 years and males have a lifespan of 10 years. Mustelus canis was the first shark recognised to have viral infections.[2]


  • Size and growth 1
  • Habitat 2
  • Food 3
  • Reproduction 4
  • Importance to humans 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Size and growth

Length for the dusky smooth-hound is up to 1.5 m (5.0 ft), with a maximum weight of 12 kg (27 lb). Dusky smooth-hound sharks reach maximum size at seven or eight years of age. Average size of this shark is around 1.2 m (4 ft). This species grows quickly, with males reaching maturity at two to three years of age, and females at four to five years of age.


A common resident in bays and other inshore waters, the dusky smooth-hound prefers shallow waters of less than 18 m (60 ft) in depth, but may be found to depths of 200 m (650 ft). This species has also been found on occasion in fresh water, although they are unlikely to survive fresh water for extended periods. The dusky smooth-hound migrates seasonally, moving north in the spring and south in the autumn. It is primarily a nocturnal species.


A scavenger and opportunistic predator, the dusky smooth-hound feeds primarily on large crustaceans, including lobsters, shrimp, and crabs, as well as small fish, mollusks, and small fish that have been injured. The flat, blunt teeth of the dogfish are used to crush and grind these prey items which have tough outer body coverings. Small fish that are preyed upon by the dusky smooth-hound include menhaden and tautog. Young dusky smooth-hounds feed on small shrimp, worms, and crabs.


Mating occurs throughout most of the dusky smooth-hound's range from May through July. Following a gestation period of 10 to 11 months, a litter numbering as few as four and as many as 20 is born during late spring or early summer. Larger females tend to have larger litters.

Importance to humans

In certain areas, the flesh of dusky smooth-hound is marketed as fresh or dried and salted for human consumption. The dusky smooth-hound is often used as a laboratory animal and in public display at aquaria.

See also


  1. ^ a b Conrath, C. (2005). "Mustelus canis".  
  2. ^ L. Leibovitz & S. S. Lebouitz (1985). "A viral dermatitis of the smooth dogfish, Mustelus canis (Mitchill)".  
  • (Mitchill, 1815)"Mustelus canis".  
  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Mustelus canis in FishBase. September 2005 version.

External links

  • (Mustelus canis)Dusky smoothhound media at ARKive
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