Squalus acanthias

Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Squalus acanthias Linnaeus, 1758

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Squalus acanthias Linnaeus, 1758 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: anterior nasal flap without a minute lobe. Inner corner of pectoral fins rounded, distal margin weakly concave; origin of first dorsal spine on a vertical with inner pectoral corner (juveniles) or behind inner pectoral corner (adults); second dorsal fin considerably smaller than first. Denticles on sides of body below first dorsal fin spike-like (juveniles) or tridentate (adults). Colour: upper surface of body slate grey, rarely brownish-grey, generally with white spots, but spots may disappear with age or never be present; lower surface pale grey to white. Size: 60-90 cm (males), 75-105 cm (females).

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms, from 10 m to about 200 m, rarely to 950 m, rather sluggish but migratory, often forming large schools. Food: fishes and to a lesser extent squids and benthic invertebrates. Reproduction: ovoviviparous, one litter every two years of 2-11 embryos, gestation 18-22 months.

Distribution: southern Greenland, Iceland and the Murman coast south to Madeira and Morocco and in Mediterranean and Black Sea, rarely the Baltic. Elsewhere southward to the Canaries; also, western Atlantic, from western Greeniand and Labrador to North Carolina, rarely off Florida and Cuba; North Pacific from Bering Sea to Baja California in the east and Hawaii and China in the west; all three oceans of the South ern Hemisphere.

Complementary iconography. Andersson, 1942: col. pl. 69, left | Rasmussen and Dannevig in Rollefsen et al., 1960: fig. 188 | Muus and Dahlström, 1965: 44-45, fig. 10.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Scammon and Minot, 1911: 1-140, fig. 1-26, pl. I-IV.