Blackmouth Dogfish

Fact File:

Common Name(s):
Blackmouth Dogfish

(others: Blackmouth Catshark )

Scientific Name:
Galeus melastomus (Rafinesque-Schmaltz 1810)

Usual Size:
To 90cm, although most fish are fully mature between 65/75cm

UK Record Weights from rod/line:

V 12oz (Qualifying weight)

2lb 13oz 8dr

MAFF Minimum Size: Shore: Boat:

The inside of the mouth is black, which is the distinguishing feature between this species and the Bull Huss (Sycliorhinus stellaris) and the Lesser Spotter Dogfish (Sycliorhinus canicula).
The upper and lower sides of the body are grey to dark brown and support a series of well defined dark saddle blotches and circular spots. These round patches vary in number with age, with juveniles having less than mature fish.

Oviparous (egg laying) Maximum number of eggs laid per season 13, usually in the summer.Females mature at 40/45cm

A deep water shark found at depths between 200 to 500m and occasionally up to 55m.
Found on the outer continental shelf and upper slopes. Most angler encounters are in Scottish sea lochs.

Small boney fishes, crustaceans (shrimps, prawns, crabs and squat lobsters), and other small elasmobranchs

Faroe Islands, North Sea, British Isles and down to Senegal, including the Mediterranean.

Additional Notes:
Another very similar species exists, though only recently identified by scientists.

REFERENCES: A Field Guide to The Sharks of British Coastal Waters - Vas 1991

FAO Species Catalogue 4 - Sharks of The World - Compagno

Fishes of the North-Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean - Whitehead, Bauchot, Hureau, Nielsen, Tortonese

Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe - Wheeler

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