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Dogfish Sharks, Dogfishes

Compiler and date details

7 June 2011 - Douglass F. Hoese


The Squalidae currently comprise two genera and 23 species (Last & Stevens 2009). Both genera and 12 described species are known from Australia and one additional species from Norfolk Island.

The dogfishes occur worldwide in tropical and temperate waters and are commonly trawled from the continental shelf and slope. In New South Wales, these sharks are extremely abundant in trawl samples from depths over 100 m. Some species occur at depths of over 2000 m. The species are best known from temperate areas, but few trawl collections have been made in tropical areas of the Indo-Pacific. Previously, the Australian species were thought to be widespread (Compagno 1984), but, recent studies have shown that many of the species are restricted to the Australian region (Last et al. 2007).

Little is known of their biology. Some species segregate by sex and some species are luminous and, as far as is known, these dogfishes are ovoviviparous and prey on other fishes, invertebrates and marine mammals. Maximum size is around 1.2 m. The Australian dogfishes are generally less than 1 m in length.

The dogfishes have not been revised thoroughly worldwide. Compagno (1984) treated all described species known at the time. Most works are restricted to particular geographical areas (see Fowler 1941; Bigelow & Schroeder 1948; Garrick 1960; Bass et al. 1976). Australian species are treated by Last et al. (2007) and Last & Stevens (2009). All species are treated by Compagno et al. (2005).


General References

Bass, A.J., D'Aubrey, J.D. & Kistnasamy, N. 1976. Sharks of the east coast of southern Africa. Part 6. The families Oxynotidae, Squalidae, Dalatiidae and Echinorhinidae. Investigational Report. Oceanographical Research Institute, Durban 45: 1-103 figs 1-36 pls 1-11 [S. Afr]

Bigelow, H.B. & Schroeder, W.C. 1948. Sharks. In, Parr, A.E. (ed.) Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoir. Sears Foundation of Marine Research 1(1): 59-546 figs 6-106

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(1) pp. 1-249.

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp. [70]

Fowler, H.W. 1941. Contributions to the biology of the Philippine Archipelago and adjacent regions. The fishes of the groups Elasmobranchii, Holocephali, Isospondyli and Ostariophysi obtained by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross in 1907 to 1910, chiefly in the Philippine Islands and adjacent seas. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 100(13): 1-879 figs 1-30

Garrick, J.A.F. 1960. Studies on New Zealand Elasmobranchii. Part XII — The species of Squalus from New Zealand and Australia; and a general account and key to the New Zealand Squaloidea. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88(3): 519-557 figs 1-6

Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds) 2007. Descriptions of new dogfishes of the genus Squalus (Squaloidea: Squalidae). CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper 14: 1-130

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Apr-2012 16-Apr-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)