Squalus megalops (Shortnose Spiny Dogfish)

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Squalus megalops (Shortnose Spiny Dogfish) [Illustration by Anne  Hecht ]


 A small dogfish with a short, angular snout and a mouth almost as wide as the snout is long; body without spots; 1 st dorsal fin spine over pectoral fins. Colour bronze-grey above, white below; dorsal fins with black tips and white edges but markings inconspicuous in adults.


Up to 71 cm TL.


Entire coast from Namibia to northern Nata!; elsewhere, temperate and tropical Atlantic, and Indian and western Pacific oceans.



Close inshore to upper slope at 450 m depth; often near the bottom; young mostly pelagic off outer shelf.



Extremely common, in vast schools. Feeds on small bony fish, shrimp, crabs, mantis shrimp, octopus, squid and worms. Bears 2 to 4 young.


Human impact


Taken by trawlers and sports anglers in great numbers. Potentially valuable as food.

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale

  Iziko Museums of Cape Town, 2008

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