Scyliorhinus canicula

(LINNAEUS, 1758)

Small-spotted catshark
Classification: Elasmobranchii Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Reference of the original description
LINNÉ, C. (1758)
Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, regnum animale, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus differentiis synonymis, locis. Ed. X., 1: 824 p. Stockholm (L. SALVIUS).

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Catulus caniculus, Catulus duhamelii, Galeus caniculus, Galeus catulus, Scyliorhinus aff. canicula, Scyliorhinus canicula albomaculata, Scyliorhinus caniculus, Scyliorhinus cf. canicula, Scyliorhinus (Scyllium) canicula, Scylliorhinus canicula, Scylliorhinus caniculus, Scylliorhinus (Scyllium) canicula, Scyllium acutidens, Scyllium canicula, Scyllium caniculum, Scyllium (Scyliorhinus) canicula, Squalus canicula, Squalus catulus, Squalus elegans

Scyliorhinus canicula

Catulus duhamelii
Syntype: MCZ: 63-S MCZ: 60-S

Description :

Citation: Scyliorhinus canicula (LINNAEUS, 1758): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 04/2019

Please send your images of "Scyliorhinus canicula" to

Scyliorhinus canicula (LINNAEUS, 1758); female, captured in the Gulf of Roses, Spain, 120 m depth © Claudio Barria
Common names
deu \(T\) Katzenhai, deu \(T\) Kleiner Katzenhai, deu \(T\) Kleingefleckter Katzenhai, spa Breka, spa Cat, spa Catuarraya, spa Galeo, spa Gat, spa Gatet, spa Gato marino, spa Gatvaire, spa Gatón patarroxa, spa Mamatxa, spa Melgacho, spa Mona, spa Pez perro, spa Pintarroja, spa Pitarrosa, spa Pitarrosa de altura, spa Pitarrosin, fra \(T\) Catarouquiera, fra \(T\) Catarousse, fra \(T\) Charotel, fra \(T\) Chat de mer, fra \(T\) Chat marin, fra \(T\) Gat, fra \(T\) Gatanghier, fra \(T\) Petite rousette, fra \(T\) Petite roussette, fra \(T\) Rousse, fra \(T\) Roussette, fra \(T\) Squale roussette, eng Dogfish, eng Fay dog, eng Lesser spotted dogfish, eng Rough dog, eng Rough hound, eng Sandy dogfish, eng Small spotted dog, eng Small-spotted cat shark, eng Small-spotted catshark, eng Smallspotted catshark, ita Attaredda, ita Cacciottiello, ita Cacciuni, ita Cacciuottolo, ita Cagnotiello, ita Cagnulu, ita Canicchie, ita Cattuzzu, ita Cazzuni, ita Gata, ita Gata de Quarnero, ita Gattaccio minore, ita Gattaiellu, ita Gattareddu, ita Gattina, ita Gattocele, ita Gattod, ita Gattodde, ita Gattu di mari, ita Gattuccia, ita Gattuccio, ita Gattucciu, ita Gattuso, ita Gatuso, ita Gatuzzu, ita Jadduzzu, ita Jattupaddu, ita Jattupardu, ita Liabarda, ita Pardolle, ita Pesce cagnolo, ita Pinto-rousso, ita Rosetta minore, ita Salamine, por Pata-roxa

Short Description
Diagnosis after Compagno, 1984 [517]: Field Marks : A slender, dark-spotted catshark with greatly expanded anterior nasal flaps, reaching mouth and covering shallow nasoral grooves, labial furrows on lower jaw only, second dorsal fin much smaller than first. Diagnostic Features : Head and body relatively deep, slender and narrow; greatest width of head less than 2/3 of head length. Shallow nasoral grooves present between excurrent apertures of nostrils and mouth; anterior nasal flaps broadly expanded medially and posteriorly, nearly meeting each other medially and extending to the mouth. First dorsal origin well behind pelvic insertions; second dorsal origin over anal insertion. Interdorsal space slightly greater than anal base. Denticles small, skin not extremely rough. Colour pattern of numerous small dark spots, usually about size of eye pupil; 8 or 9 dusky saddle marks sometimes present but often obscure or obsolete; scattered white spots sometimes present. Size moderate, to 100 cm.

Northeast Atlantic: Norway and British Isles south to Senegal, including the Mediterranean. Possibly Côte d"quot;Ivoire. Some populational differences exist between Catulus duhameli (a name for the Mediterranean canicula based on size) and this species which may eventually be expressed as subspecies. The only reported observation of this species in Crimean waters was in 1937, which is possibly erroneous (Ref. 897). Source:

Human uses
fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums; price category: medium; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species

Oviparous, with a single egg laid per oviduct at a time. Embryos feed solely on yolk [733]. Also a demersal piscivore [20056].

Size / Weight / Age
100.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; [517]); max. published weight: 1,320 g (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 10 years (Ref. 72467)

demersal; marine; depth range 10 - 780 m [17735], usually ? - 110 m [517]

shark-references Species-ID=6297;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Trypanosoma scylliumi LAVERAN & MESNIL, 1901 [12734]

  • Aega rosacea (RISSO, 1816) [23898]