Scyliorhinus stellaris (Linnaeus, 1758)
Scyliorhinus stellaris
photo by Océanopolis

Family:  Scyliorhinidae (Cat sharks), subfamily: Scyliorhininae
Max. size:  170 cm TL (male/unsexed); max. reported age: 19 years
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 1 - 400 m
Distribution:  Northeast Atlantic: southern Scandinavia to Mediterranean, Morocco, Mauritania to Senegal (Ref. 125614). Records further south in the Atlantic, to Gulf of Guinea and Congo River mouth may be misidentifications of Scyliorhinus cervigoni (Ref. 127434).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. A large, fairly stocky, catshark with large and small black spots and sometimes white spots covering dorsal surface, saddle markings obsolete, small anterior nasal flaps that do not reach the mouth, no nasoral grooves, labial furrows on lower jaw only, second dorsal fin much smaller than first (Ref. 244)
Biology:  A common inshore and offshore shark found on the continental shelf over rough, even rocky or coralline ground, and algal-covered bottoms. Found at depths of 1 or 2 m to at least 125 m. Feed on bottom-living invertebrates such as mollusks and crustaceans and on demersal fishes (e.g. sharks, S. canicula). Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Utilized fresh and dried salted for human consumption, and processed into fishmeal. May attain 170 cm (Ref. 27000).
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (VU); Date assessed: 31 August 2020 (A2bd) Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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