A Cuban dogfish (Squalus cubensis). Typical of this species are the
large eyes and the large spines on the first and second dorsal fins.
© G. D. Guex
|German: ||Kubanischer Dornhai
|Englisch: ||Cuban Dogfish
|French: ||Aiguillat cubain
|Spanish: ||Galludo cubano
This small dogfish species is indigenous to deep waters, preferring warm
to tropical waters. They live primarily on the outer Continental Shelf
where they swim in depths varying between 60 to 380 meters.
Cuban dogfish have long spines on both dorsal fins, the first spine
being approximately as long as the base of the first dorsal fin. The
first dorsal fin spine begins just behind the base of the pectoral fins.
The pectoral fins have a strongly concaved back edge. All fins peter out
at the free end close to the body. As with
all dogfish the Cuban dogfish has no anal fins.
The back is gray-brown, the belly is white. The tips of both dorsal fins
are dark and the fins have a light-colored to white border.
Cuban dogfish are found in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina to
Florida. They also inhabit the waters near Cuba, Hispaniola (Dominican
Republic and Haiti) and the northern Gulf of Mexico from Mexico to
Florida. In South America they are found in southern Brazil and
The shark’s maximum size is presumed to be around 110 cm, the average
size about 75 cm. They reach sexual maturity at a length of
approximately 50 cm.
Cuban dogfish probably feed on fish and invertebrates living on the
ocean floor such as crustaceans/crabs and mussels.
Cuban dogfish reproduce ovoviviparously and have about 10 pups per
litter. As opposed to adults, the young are usually found in less deeper
waters of the Continental shelf.
Due to their limited range of distribution and typical appearance, there
is no danger of mistaking them for other dogfish species.
Although the spines on the dorsal fins can cause painful stings, this
shark species is harmless to man because of its size and preference for
Cuban dogfish are mainly fished commercially in the northern Gulf of
Mexico by trawl-net fishermen. They are caught primarily for their large
liver which is rich in oils and vitamins and is seldomly eaten.
Information on population numbers are only sparsely available, but
overfishing certainly poses a threat because they are commercially
Source: L. J. V. Compagno, 1984, FAO Species Catalogue, Vol. 4,
May be published only by indicating the source: Shark Info