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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Scyliorhnus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: snout shorter than width across the mouth; nostrils joined to mouth by very shallow channels formed by a depressed area of the upper lip; these channels covered by large nasal flaps, which almost join in the midline and cover the front of upper jaw. Upper labial furrows absent; on the outer edge of nostril, interior nasal flap pointed. Origin of second dorsal fin level with the hind end of anal fin base. Colour: upper surfaces sandy or brown, covered by numerous small dark spots about the size of the pupil; lower surfaces unmarked. Size: to about 100 cm, usually 75 cm.

Habitat: benthic over gravelly, sandy and muddy bottoms, from shallow waters to about 110 m (around British Isles) or to about 400 m (Mediterranean). Food: bottom-living invertebrates (molluscs, crustaceans), small bottom-living and midwater fishes. Reproduction: oviparous. Spawning takes place in shallow water, egg-laying occurring from November to July or later; size at hatching 9-10 cm.

Distribution: Atlantic coasts northward to the Shetlands and southern Norway; also, whole of Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. Elsewhere, southward to Senegal.

Complementary inconography. Bonaparte, 1834, fasc. 7 | Lozano Rey, 1928, fig. 86-87, pl. 2 (fig. 1) | Tortonese, 1956, fig. 62-65 | Bini, 1967, fig. on pp. 57-58 | Wheeler, 1969, fig. 13-14.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Oviparous. Ford, 1921: 486, 497, fig. 8-9.

Smallspotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula)