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brown smoothhound shark pictures
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Names: Brown smoothhound, Mud shark, sand shark.
Slender body. Dorsum uniform brown to grey/brown with an iridescent sheen. Ventrum pale.
Dorsal fins have exposed ceratotrichia along the trailing edge that form a
frayed margin. Ventral caudal lobe poorly developed. Caudal peduncle long.
Short head with narrow set eyes. Nostrils widely spaced. Lower labial furrows (mouth creases)
shorter than upper ones.
Maximum recorded size: 95cm.
often in enclosed, muddy, shallow bays but also in deeper water (up to 200m
deep) on the continental shelf. Tolerant of much colder water than other
smoothhounds in the north eastern Pacific.
Eastern Pacific Ocean. Two distinct populations. Northern population extends
from Northern California to Central Mexico. Southern Population extends from
Ecuador to Peru.
Hunts over sand and
mud bottoms for crustaceans, polychaete worms and small fishes.
An active and agile swimmer that constantly scours the substrate in search of
food. One tagged individual migrated 160km in 3 months.
Recorded litter size 3-5.
IUCN Red List Status:
Least Concern. Although the species is heavily fished in areas of the Gulf of
California, there is apparently no evidence to indicate that the population has
undergone significant decline. The species is not commercially fished off
California, but is taken as bycatch and by recreational anglers (but not in
significant numbers). It is not thought that the species is being over-fished
off the USA. This is a fast growing species, with low longevity, early age at
first maturity and with a relatively high fecundity, giving it a high capacity
for recovery from fishing pressure. These life history characteristics combined
with the fact that there have been no suspected, observed, or inferred declines
in catches or populations in any region for M. henlei justify an assessment of
Least Concern at present.
Citation: Pérez-Jiménez, J.C. & Carlisle, A.B. 2009. Mustelus
henlei. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.
Bahia Viscaino, Baja, Mexico.
In its northern range, sympatric species include: the grey smoothhound M.californicus,
the Sicklefin smoothhound M.lunulatus and the white-margined smoothhound
M.albipinnis. In the brown smoothhound's southern range, sympatric
species include: the speckled smoothhound M.mento and the humpback
smoothhound M.whitneyi. None of these species except the humpback
smoothhound have frayed dorsal rear margins. As the name suggests, the humpback
smoothhound has a distinctly more rounded back than other smoothhounds. It also
has an acutely pointed snout.
Reaction to divers:
A shy species that is difficult to approach and rarely encountered by divers.
Although the northern population is abundant in some inshore areas, this tends
to be in bays where visibility prevents any type of underwater exploration.