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Black Dogfish

Black Dogfish Shark

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Black Dogfish
Centroscyllium fabricii

   The black dogfish is a small deep dwelling shark with a short and heavily set body. Both of the dorsal fins have white spines on the leading edge. The second dorsal fin is larger than the first. As its name suggests, this shark is completely black with the exception of the white dorsal spines. The tricuspid teeth are similar in both the upper and lower jaws with the middle cusp being the longest.

Class

Elasmobranchii

Family

Dalatiidae

Size

720 cm TL, max. weight: 3,400 kg.

Diet

   This shark feeds mainly upon cephalopods, pelagic crustaceans, jellyfish, and small redfish.

Reproduction

   This shark is ovoviviparous; the fertilized eggs develop within the uterus.

Habitat

   This is a deep water shark occurring at depths of 275 to 1600 meters (975 to 5,280 feet). However in its northern range in subarctic waters, the black dogfish may occur at the surface. Water temperatures where specimens have been obtained are commonly between 3.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius.
   Usually solitary or in pairs but can be found in feeding aggregations of 10 or more. Does not form schools.

Range

   This shark species occurs only in the Atlantic Ocean basin. In the northwestern Atlantic Ocean the black dogfish can be found off southern Greenland and Baffin Island, continuing to waters around Labrador, Newfoundland, on the Scotian Shelf, and Georges Bank. Its range continues down to Cape Hatteras and possibly to Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Presence of white dorsal fin spines
  • No anal fin
  • Tricuspid teeth in both jaws
  • Minute, thorn-like dermal denticles

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