Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Scyliorhinus retifer, Chain catshark, Chain dogfish, Chain Dogfish Cat Shark

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network of black lines
D2 < D1

Scyliorhinus retifer (Garman, 1881)

Chain catshark, Chain dogfish

Head and body relatively slender; crest over horizontally oval eye; anterior nasal flaps not expanded and do not reach mouth; labial furrows on lower jaw only; first dorsal fin origin just behind pelvic insertions; second dorsal fin much smaller than first, origin just anterior to anal fin insertion; space between dorsals slightly greater than anal fin base; skin denticles small and flat, surface of skin relatively smooth.

Color pattern of bold black chain-pattern lines, outlining obscure dusky saddles, sometimes extending over lateral surfaces and back as a reticular network; no light or dark spots.

Size: 59 cm.

Depth: 73-812 m.

Habitat: soft and rocky bottoms.

Western North Atlantic: Massachusetts to the Caribbean.


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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • In & Offshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic phase
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • All species..
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 59
Depth Range Min
  • 73
Depth Range Max
  • 812