Squalus cubensis


Cuban dogfish
Classification: Elasmobranchii Squaliformes Squalidae

Reference of the original description
Some new, rare and little-known fishes from Cuba. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, 41: 41–76

Image of the original description

Squalus cubensis Howell Rivero, 1936: adult male holotype, Havana (Howell Rivero 1936, Pl. 10)

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Squalus aff. cubensis, Squalus cf. cubensis

Squalus cubensis
Holotype: MCZ: 1458-S; Paratype: MCZ: 1462-S; MCZ: 1459-S; MCZ: 1460-S; MCZ: 1461-S;

Images of types

Description (reviewed) by Clinton Duffy (2016):

Department of Conservation, Private Bag 68908, Newton, Auckland 1145, New Zealand; Tamaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum, The Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand.
Citation: Squalus cubensis HOWELL RIVERO, 1936: In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras, www.shark-references.com, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 04/2018

Please send your images of "Squalus cubensis" to info@shark-references.com

Squalus cubensis Howell Rivero, 1936: Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas © Andy Murch Elasmodiver)
Common names
spa Galludo, eng Cuban dogfish

Short Description
(after Howell Rivero 1936 [11291])
Body fusiform; caudal peduncle with a keel on each side; snout short, blunt and rounded, length 3 times in pre-fourth gill slit length; nostrils closer to tip of snout than mouth, anterior nasal flap bilobed; eyes large, orbit length equal to internarial space. Mouth width equal to snout length. Spiracles large, located close to the posterior end of the orbit. Snout-vent length 49.9% TL. Pectoral fins large, length equal to distance from anterior eye to fifth gill slit, tip rounded, posterior margin falcate, inner corner pointed. First dorsal fin origin over pectoral fin inner margin, pre-first dorsal length less than 0.33 TL, height equal to pre-orbital length, tip rounded, posterior margin concave, free-rear tip pointed; spine reaching tip of fin, exposed spine length 0.67 pre-orbital length. Interdorsal length equal to pre-pectoral length. Second dorsal fin strongly raked, height about 0.75 first dorsal fin height, posterior margin deeply concave, spine as high or higher than the fin. Pelvic fin origin midway between dorsal fin origins. No anal fin. Pre-caudal pits present. Upper caudal lobe about equal to head length, lower caudal lobe less than half length of upper caudal lobe. Lateral trunk denticles unicuspid, lanceolate. Colour: body grey, darkening posteriorly, ventral surface lighter than upper body; upper lobe of dorsal fins black; posterior margin of caudal fin white, pectoral and pelvic fins edged with white (dark upper caudal blotch evident in MCZ 1462–S and images of live individuals; images of live individuals also show a dark bar extending from the mid preventral caudal margin towards the caudal fork), pectoral and pelvic fins edged with white; iris green.

Cuba, Bahama’s, Jamaica (Howell Rivero 1936 [11291]; McLaughlin & Morrissey 2004 [24347]). See Remarks. Source: www.gbif.org

Human uses
Commercially fished for liver oil (Compagno 1984 [518]; McLaughlin & Morrissey 2004 [24347]).

Poorly known. McLaughlin & Morrissey (2004) [24347] reported a 720 mm TL (1.7 kg) female was mature, whereas a 640 mm TL (1.01 kg) female was immature. The left ovary of the mature female contained four ripe ova. Howell Rivero (1936) [11291] reported all specimens of both sexes over 762 mm TL were mature, the females having well developed ova in both ovaries.

Size / Weight / Age
To at least 762 mm TL.

Bathydemersal; marine; common from 137 m to 800 m depth (Howell Rivero 1936 [11291]; McLaughlin & Morrissey 2004 [24347]).

Teeth alike in both jaws, cusps strongly oblique, cutting edges parallel to the jaw; dental formula 14-14/11-11.

Although Squalus cubensis is reported to occur from North Carolina to Argentina, including Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, Hispaniola and Venezuela (McLaughlin & Morrissey 2004 [24347]), the level of morphological variation apparent throughout this range suggests that a species complex including a number of potentially undescribed species is involved. Viana et al. (2016 [24274]) reviewed Squalus from the Southwest Atlantic and concluded that S. cubensis does not occur in that region; describing three new species that had been previously reported as S. cubensis: S. albicaudus Viana, De Carvalho & Gomes, 2016, S. bahiensis Viana, De Carvalho & Gomes, 2016 and S. lobularis Viana, De Carvalho & Gomes, 2016.
Three examples of morphological variation in nominal S. cubensis are briefly described below:

Squalus cf. cubensis: 52 cm, 260 m depth, Northwest Atlantic, Pompano Beach, Florida (William Buckley, FishBase). Note: short first dorsal spine; dusky colouration confined to apex and margins of first dorsal fin; second dorsal fin with white tip and posterior margin; no dark marking on dorsal caudal margin or dark upper caudal blotch, lower caudal lobe mostly same colour as body; no dark basal marking on preventral caudal margin; pectoral fin without white tip and broad white posterior margin; white ventral surfaces.

Squalus cf. cubensis: Gulf of Mexico (NOAA\NMFS\Mississippi Laboratory, FishBase). Note: short first dorsal spine; dusky colouration confined to apex and anterior margin of first dorsal fin, posterior margin and free-rear tip white; second dorsal fin with dusky anterior margin and white tip and posterior margin; no dark upper caudal blotch, broad white posterior margin with dark submarginal bar; white ventral surfaces. Occurs from Gulf of Mexico to Panama and Colombia (J. Monzini, FishBase; Orozco-Velásquez & Gómez-Delgado 2016 [24319]).

Squalus cf. cubensis: 474 mm TL, Saba Bank Atoll, Netherland Antilles (Williams et al. 2010 [24348]). Note: long slender first dorsal spine; no dark markings on fins; lower caudal lobe mainly same colour as body.

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)