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Author: (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Dalatias licha (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Diagnosis: snout thick, fleshy and short, tip rounded, its length approximately equal to mouth width; nostrils close to snout tip, anterior nasal flap short, triangular. Mouth slightly arched, lips thick and fleshy; upper labial furrow one-third distance to symphysis; cleft at corners voluminous, extending posteriorly one-fifth distance to first gill-slit. Upper teeth long, lanceolate, curved inward, erect anteriorly, oblique posteriorly; lower teeth on broad quadrate base, cusp broadly triangular, erect anteriorly, slightly oblique posteriorly, serrate. Spiracle above and behind eye. Gill-slits short, progressively increasing in size from first to fifth. Pectoral fins long, paddle-shaped; first dorsal fin low, brush-shaped; second dorsal fin larger, origin over mid-base of pelvic fins; caudal fin relatively broad, obliquely truncate terminally, no distinct lower lobe. Colour: uniformly brown. Size: to 180 cm, common to 150 cm.

Habitat: benthic to mesopelagic, at 90-1,000 m, primarily on slopes at 300-600 m. Food: fishes. Reproduction: ovoviviparous, 10-16 young born at 30 cm, seasonality uncertain.

Distribution: Morocco, Madeira and the Azores, northward to Irish and Scottish slopes; also, western Mediterranean. Elsewhere, southward possibly to Senegal; reported from western North Atlantic at Georges Bank, also South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.

Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Helbing, 1904: 510 | Ranzi, 1932: 237-240, fig. 20-21 | Bigelow & Schroeder, 1948: 505 | Bini, 1967: 104, fig. g (all embryonic stages) | Capapé, 1974a: 245.

Kitefin shark (Dalatias licha)