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Author: Rafinesque, 1810

Caleus melastomus Rafinesque, 1810

Diagnosis: snout, viewed from above, pointed and rather flattened, anal fin long (13-18% TL), its length greater than the distance between bases of the two dorsal fins, its tip reaching a little past the origin of lower caudal fin lobe. No crest of enlarged denticles on the pre-ventral caudal fin margin. Colour: series of rounded connected dark-brown blotches along back and sides, with light margins outlining the lower edges; inside of mouth black. Size: to 90 cm (female) or at least 61 cm (male).

Habitat: benthic, from upper continental slope at 200-1,200 m but occasionally on continental shelf at 55-200 m. Food: bottom-living and midwater invertebrates (molluscs, cephalopods, crustaceans) and fishes Reproduction: oviparous, spawning in the Mediterranean all year round, with a peak of activity in the spring and summer.

Distribution: Atlantic, northward to the Faroes and Trondheim (Norway); also Mediterranean and Adriatic. Elsewhere, southward to Senegal.

Complementary iconography. Bonaparte, 1834, fasc. 7 | Lozano Rey, 1928, fig. 91-92, pl. 1 (fig. 2) | Bini, 1967, fig. p. 61-62 | Wheeler, 1969: 46.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Oviparous. Wheeler, 1969: 47.

Blackmouth catshark (Galeus melastomus)