Animalia > Chordata > Elasmobranchii > Carcharhiniformes > Triakidae > Mustelus > Mustelus canis

Mustelus canis (Dogfish; Atlantic smooth dogfish; Smoothhound; Smooth hound; Smooth dogfish; Smooth dog; Nurse shark; Grayfish; Dusky smooth-hound; Dusky Smoothhound; Dusky smooth hound)

Synonyms: Allomycter dissutus; Mustelus canis canis; Mustelus canis insularis; Squalus canis
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Wikipedia Abstract

The dusky smooth-hound or smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis) is a species of houndshark, and part of the family Triakidae. This shark is an olive grey or brown in color, and may have shades of yellow or grayish white. Females live to 16 years and males have a lifespan of 10 years. Mustelus canis was the first shark recognised to have viral infections.
View Wikipedia Record: Mustelus canis


Adult Weight [1]  14.79 lbs (6.71 kg)
Female Maturity [1]  4 years 4 months
Male Maturity [1]  2 years
Litter Size [1]  10
Maximum Longevity [1]  16 years
Migration [2]  Oceanodromous

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Gateway National Recreation Area V 1807 New Jersey, United States
Reserva de la Biosfera de Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve VI 1312618 Mexico  

Prey / Diet

Acanthocarpus alexandri (gladiator box crab)[3]
Allactaea lithostrota (Mud crab)[3]
Amblyraja radiata (Starry ray)[3]
Ammodytes dubius (offshore sand lance)[3]
Arctozenus risso (Spotted barracudina)[3]
Astarte arctica (Arctic astarte)[3]
Cancer borealis (Jonah crab)[4]
Cancer irroratus (rock crab)[3]
Cancer plebejus (Atlantic rock crab)[5]
Clupea harengus (Yawling)[3]
Crangon septemspinosa (sevenspine bay shrimp)[5]
Doryteuthis pealeii (longfin inshore squid)[4]
Doryteuthis sanpaulensis[6]
Ensis leei (Atlantic razor clam)[5]
Etrumeus acuminatus (Atlantic red herring)[4]
Hemitripterus americanus (Wip)[3]
Leucoraja erinacea (common skate)[3]
Leucoraja ocellata (Winter skate)[3]
Menidia menidia (Tidewater silverside)[3]
Merluccius bilinearis (Whiting)[3]
Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus (Sea raven)[3]
Ovalipes ocellatus (ocellate lady crab)[5]
Ovalipes stephensoni (coarsehand lady crab)[4]
Paralichthys dentatus (fluke)[3]
Peprilus triacanthus (Sheephead)[3]
Pomatomus saltatrix (Tailor run)[3]
Pseudopleuronectes americanus (rough flounder)[3]
Scophthalmus aquosus (brill)[3]
Tautogolabrus adspersus (Sea perch)[3]
Urophycis chuss (Squirrel hake)[3]
Urophycis regia (Spotted hake)[3]
Urophycis tenuis (White hake)[3]
Venustaconcha ellipsiformis (ellipse)[3]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Caretta caretta (Loggerhead)3
Centropristis striata (Sea bass)3
Citharichthys arctifrons (Gulf Stream flounder)1
Clangula hyemalis (Oldsquaw)1
Cynoscion arenarius (Sand seatrout)1
Cynoscion regalis (Weakfish)3
Dasyatis americana (Kit)1
Haemulon aurolineatum (Seize)1
Hippoglossina oblonga (Fourspot flounder)2
Isurus oxyrinchus (Short-finned mako)1
Leiostomus xanthurus (Spot croaker)1
Lepidochelys kempii (Atlantic Ridley, Kemp’s Ridley Seaturtle)2
Leucoraja erinacea (common skate)5
Menticirrhus saxatilis (Northern kingfish)2
Merluccius bilinearis (Whiting)1
Morone americana (Wreckfish)1
Morone saxatilis (Striper bass)1
Myoxocephalus aenaeus (Little sculpin)2
Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus (Sea raven)2
Paralichthys dentatus (fluke)4
Phoca vitulina (Harbor Seal)1
Pomatomus saltatrix (Tailor run)4
Prionotus carolinus (Searobin)2
Prionotus evolans (Striped searobin)4
Pseudopleuronectes americanus (rough flounder)3
Rachycentron canadum (Sergent fish)1
Raja eglanteria (Clearnose skate)3
Rhizoprionodon terraenovae (Atlantic sharp-nosed shark)2
Rhomboplites aurorubens (Vermillion snapper)1
Scomberomorus cavalla (Spanish mackerel)2
Scomberomorus maculatus (Spanish mackerel)1
Scophthalmus aquosus (brill)1
Stenotomus chrysops (Scup)2
Sula leucogaster (Brown Booby)1
Synodus foetens (Soapfish)1
Tautoga onitis (Tautog)2
Tautogolabrus adspersus (Sea perch)1
Trichiurus lepturus (Atlantic Cutlassfish)1
Urophycis chuss (Squirrel hake)2
Urophycis regia (Spotted hake)2
Urophycis tenuis (White hake)1
Zoarces americanus (Ocean pout)1


Carcharodon carcharias (Maneater shark)[3]
Homo sapiens (man)[3]
Lophius americanus (Monkfish)[3]
Pomatomus saltatrix (Tailor run)[3]
Squalus acanthias (Common spiny)[3]
Urophycis chuss (Squirrel hake)[3]


Parasitized by 
Acanthobothrium mathiasi[7]
Calicotyle kroyeri[7]
Calicotyle stossichi[7]
Calliobothrium lintoni[7]
Calliobothrium verticillatum[7]
Calliobothrium violae[7]
Callitetrarhynchus gracilis[7]
Erpocotyle antarctica[7]
Eutetrarhynchus ruficollis[7]
Heteronybelinia eureia[7]
Hexabothrium musteli[7]
Lacistorhynchus tenuis[7]
Mustelicola woodsholei <Unverified Name>[7]
Nybelinia africana[7]
Otobothrium cysticum[7]
Prochristianella tumidula[7]
Pterobothrium heteracanthum[7]
Tetrarhynchobothrium striatum[7]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Adventure Aquarium
Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo
Indianapolis Zoo
South Carolina Aquarium


Western Atlantic: Massachusetts to Florida (USA), northern and western Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas; southern Brazil to northern Argentina; also western Gulf of Mexico and Antilles (Ref. 26938). Northwest Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951). Allopatric with <i>Mustelus mustelus</i> and sympatric with <i>Mustelus norrisi</i>. One of the two new allopatric species of canis- norrisi-like smooth-hounds in this region is often confused with this species (Ref. 244). The subspecies <i>Mustelus canis insularis</i>, occurring at several Caribbean islands, was identified by Heemstra (Ref. 27770).;



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Riede, Klaus (2004) Global Register of Migratory Species - from Global to Regional Scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. 330 pages + CD-ROM
3Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
4Food of Northwest Atlantic Fishes and Two Common Species of Squid, Ray E. Bowman, Charles E. Stillwell, William L. Michaels, and Marvin D. Grosslein, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-155 (2000)
5 Steimle FW, Pikanowski RA, McMillan DG, Zetlin CA, Wilk SJ. 2000. Demersal Fish and American Lobster Diets in the Lower Hudson - Raritan Estuary. US Dep Commer, NOAA Tech Memo NMFS NE 161; 106 p.
6Trophic Relationships of the Long-finned Squid Loligo sanpaulensis on the Southern Brazilian Shelf, R. A. Santos and M. Haimovici, S. Afr. J. Mar. Sci. 20: 81-91 (1998)
7Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
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