Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Mustelus sinusmexicanus, Gulf Smoothhound, Gulf Smoothhound Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eyes large, close-set
snout short
flank denticles 3-points
C lower lobe expanded, rounded
lip furrows: top > bottom
teeth pointed

Mustelus sinusmexicanus Heemstra, 1997

Gulf Smoothhound, Gulf Smoothhound Shark

Elongate, slender body, with its ventral surface flattened; a low pointed skin ridge along top; head short, flattened on top, with thin-tipped snout; snout moderately short, 4.8-6.3% of TL; eyes close-set, moderately large, diameter 1.9-3.1% of TL, oval, with nictitating lower eyelids; spiracles small; nostrils widely separated; mouth broad; labial furrows of upper jaw longer than lower; teeth small, low, in rows or mosaic or pavement pattern, cutting edge with pointed, relatively high crown; five gill slits, last two above pectoral fin; first dorsal taller than second, entirely before pelvics, both with a rounded tips, a concave rear edge and a sharply pointed rear tip; anal fin origin under middle of second dorsal fin; pectoral fins broad, rear edge straight; tail fin slightly raised above body, its tip with a straight edge, subterminal notch present, bottom lobe expanded, rounded; dermal denticles on flank mainly with 3 points.

Top grey to grey-brown, bottom light colored, young may have dusky spots on tips of dorsal fin and caudal fin.

Size: 140 cm.

Habitat: offshore continental shelf and upper slope.

Depth: 20-250 m, usually 42-91 m.

The Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Water column
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 140
Depth Range Min
  • 20
Depth Range Max
  • 250