Author: LeSueur, 1818
An angelshark with simple, tapering nasal barbels and weakly fringed or smooth anterior nasal flaps, dermal flaps on sides of head without angular lobes, large eyes with interspace between them and spiracles less than 1.5 times eye diameter, fairly broad and posteriorly angular pectoral fins, and no ocelli on body.
Trunk moderately narrow. Anterior nasal barbels simple and with a narrow, tapering tip; posterior margin of anterior nasal flaps between nasal barbels and tips weakly fringed or smooth; distance from eye to spiracle less than 1.5 times eye diameter; dermal folds on sides of head without triangular lobes. Pectoral fins rather broad and high, with narrowly subangular free rear tips. Moderately large spines present on midline of back and tail from head to dorsal fins and between the fin bases, and on snout and above eyes; lateral trunk denticles with broadly hooked and 3-ridged crowns. Colour: no ocelli on body.
Western North Atlantic: Southern New England to Gulf of Mexico, Jamaica, Venezuela.
Habitat and Biology:
A moderately common but rather poorly known temperate and subtropical angelshark of the Western North Atlantic continental shelf and slope, on or near the bottom from close inshore to exceptionally down to 1390 m depth. It apparently is seasonal in its presence in shallow water, and off the eastern United States apparently moves inshore in the spring and summer, and subsequently disappears, apparently into deeper water. Ovoviviparous. Eats small bottom fishes, crustaceans and bivalves. Not dangerous to people when undisturbed, but readily snaps at fishermen that catch it (hence the common name sand devil) and can inflict severe lacerations.
Maximum total length about 152 cm, mature males from 92 to 107 cm.
Interest to Fisheries:
Apparently not utilized by fisheries.
Holotype: Paratype or syntype in Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, MNHN A. 9692, 1220 mm adult male. Type Locality: East coast of North America.