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.
720 cm TL, max. weight: 3,400 kg.
This shark feeds mainly
upon cephalopods, pelagic crustaceans, jellyfish, and small redfish.
This shark is
ovoviviparous; the fertilized eggs develop within the uterus.
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.
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.
- Presence of white dorsal fin
- No anal fin
- Tricuspid teeth in both jaws
- Minute, thorn-like dermal