Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Cirrhigaleus asper, Roughskin dogfish, Roughskin dogfish shark, Roughskin spurdog

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head & snout broad, flat
nasal flap broad, + short barbel
Ds similar size, large spines
D1 origin well behind pectoral
Ds: tips & rear edges white
pectorals broad, straight, blunt
side denticles v wide

Cirrhigaleus asper (Merrett, 1973)

Roughskin dogfish shark, Roughskin spurdog

Body stocky; head and snout very broad, snout bluntly rounded, flat; eyes without nictitating membrane; large spiracles just behind eyes; front nasal flaps broad, with a short, stubby barbell; teeth similar in both jaws, small, compressed, a single point, strongly oblique and deeply notched; 5 gill slits, all before pectorals; a strong, long spine in front of each dorsal fin; first dorsal origin well behind pectoral fin, second dorsal about same size as first dorsal; pectoral fin broad, not sickle-shaped, free rear tip bluntly rounded, posterior margin almost straight; tail base flattened below, with a weak keel low on each side, upper tail base pit weak or absent, no lower tail base pit; no notch under tip of tail fin; skin very rough, denticles on side of body very broad, with three points.

Light brown to grey above, whitish below, no white spots on sides; tips and free rear edges of dorsal fins conspicuously white.

Size: 118 cm.

Depth: 73-600 m.

Scattered locations in the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. North Carolina to  the Gulf of Mexico.


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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • Live birth
Global Endemism
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends North of GC
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 118
Depth Range Min
  • 73
Depth Range Max
  • 600