Smooth dogfish

Mustelus canis

Family Triakidae - sharks

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate, slender, dorsal ridge present; color gray to brown, lighter on belly, small fish under 61 cm (2 ft) may have black markings on fins edged in white; eyes oval, compressed; prominent spiracle (opening) behind eye; pronounced fold below eye; nostrils with anterior flaps; teeth low, flat, blunt, forming a mosaic-like pattern; both dorsal finsbroadly rounded at tip, almost equal in size, 2nd dorsal fin slightly smaller than 1st; 2nd dorsal fin originates in front of anal fin; tail with deep notch on underside of upper lobe, lower lobe rounded; labial folds (folds in the corners of the mouth) in upper jaw longer than folds in lower jaw; lower jaw angular.
Similar Species
Dogfishes can be distinguished from other sharks by their cat-like eyes, spiracle behind the eyes and both dorsal fins being nearly equal in size. Smooth dogfishes differ from the Florida smoothhound by having a rounded lower caudal lobe (pointed in Florida smoothhound), and more rounded dorsal fin tips. Differs from the Cuban dogfish which has spines on both dorsal fins.
Habitat
Gulf and bay
Maximum Size
150 cm (5 ft), common to 100 cm 3 1/3 ft)
Fin Element Counts
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
State size/bag limits