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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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Author: Kner and Steindachner, 1866

Field Marks:
A very stout houndshark with a short, broadly rounded snout, lobate anterior nasal flaps that do not reach the mouth and are far separated from each other, long upper labial furrows that reach the lower symphysis of the mouth, teeth not bladelike, with straight erect cusps and cusplets little-developed or absent, broad fins with the pectorals broadly falcate and the first dorsal fin with a posteriorly sloping posterior margin, and usually with numerous black spots.

Diagnostic Features:
Strong erect cusps on teeth of the middle two-thirds of the dental band, the more distal teeth having no cusp or weak ones, cusplets low or absent on almost all teeth, teeth semimolariform but not bladelike. First dorsal fin with posteroventrally sloping posterior margin; pectoral fins broadly falcate in adults. Total vertebral counts 164 to 170. Body usually with numerous small black spots, sometimes plain-coloured (plain females may have spotted young).

Geographical Distribution:
Eastern Pacific: Peru to northern Chile, Galapagos Islands. Mexican records of this species are apparently erroneous.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known, inshore temperate-water shark of waters of the South American continental shelf. Probably ovoviviparous; one female had 14 young to a litter.

Maximum size possibly 240 cm, otherwise 180 cm; full-term fetuses 30 to 40 cm, freeliving young 43 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Taken in fisheries off Peru and probably also Chile, and used for human consumption.

The Galapagos record is from photographs of a specimen of this species that was caught, tagged and released off Isla Fernandina in 1980 (J.D. McCosker, pers.comm.).

Type material:
Holotype: In Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna? Type Locality: "Sudsee".

Spotted houndshark (Triakis maculata)