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Spiny Dogfish

Squalus acanthias


Illustration of a spiny dogfish shark showing important characteristics
  • Blueish-gray back, white spots on sides and a white belly
  • Slender body with a long, narrow and pointed snout
  • One spine in front of each of the two dorsal fins
  • First dorsal fin starts just behind pectoral fin
  • Spiracles present No anal fin present
  • Pale caudal fin with white edge and black blotch on upper lobe
  • No interdorsal ridge

Similar Species: Smooth dogfish, M. canis (has anal fin and lacks dorsal spines)

Size: Up to 5 feet


Coastal waters on the east coast, usually near the bottom; tolerate brackish water


Forage in large schools; feed on fishes and invertebrates

Additional Information

Recreational Regulations


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles