The common smooth-hound (Mustelus mustelus) is a houndshark of the family Triakidae. It is found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from the British Isles to South Africa, and in the Mediterranean Sea, Madeira, and the Canary Islands at depths ranging from 5 m to 625 m (although they usually stay at depths between 5-50m). While they can grow to 200 cm, their usual maximum size is 150 cm. They commonly grow to 100–120 cm with a birth length around 35 cm. The reproduction of commons smooth-hounds is viviparous.
Morphology and behavior
The common smooth-hound has a grey-brown back and is white on its underneath. It is often confused with the starry smooth-hound which has white spots on its back. The starry smooth-hound can often have faded spots which leads to misidentification. Another shark it is often confused with is the tope shark although the common smooth hound has a larger second dorsal fin. Due to the similarities between the common smooth-hound and other sharks, misidentification occurred for a long time.
The common smooth-hound has two dorsal fins, an anal fin, a pair of pectoral fins, a pair of pelvic fins and a heterocercal tail. All of these fins help stabilise the shark but in males, the pelvic fins are modified to form claspers.
Like other smooth hounds, the common smooth hound will aggregate in large numbers, like a pack of dogs. This is why they are called hounds.
- Serena, F., Mancusi, C., Clò, S., Ellis, J. & Valenti, S.V. (2009). "Mustelus mustelus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Mustelus mustelus" in FishBase. May 2006 version.
- Smooth Hound (MUSTELUS MUSTELUS) - European Federation of Sea Angling Records