Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Squatina dumeril, Atlantic angelshark, Atlantic angel shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye to spiracle < 1.5X eye
1 row curved thorns: nape to D1 & between Ds
+/- dark spotting
nasal barbels simple, tapering



Squatina dumeril (Lesueur, 1818)

Atlantic angelshark

Moderately large, flattened, ray-like; head and body greatly flattened; head a transverse oval in top view, with a distinct neck; folds on side of head low; strongly concave between large eyes on top of head; a pair of large spiracles behind eyes; eye-spiracle space <1.5X eye; nostrils at top of snout, nasal barbells with simple, tapering tips, rear edges of front nasal flaps narrow and smooth or weakly fringed, rear nasal flaps enlarged, not fringed; mouth opens at front; top jaw with 18-20 smooth teeth, lower jaw with 20; five long gill slits under head; two small, equal sized oval dorsal fins near tail base, similar in size & shape; pectoral fins greatly enlarged, triangular, with straight front edges and no front shoulder, front tips narrowly rounded, rear edge slightly concave, rear tips narrowly rounded to angular, inner edges broadly convex and rounded, well separated by deep notches from head and pelvic fins; pelvic fins smaller, triangular; no anal fin; tail fin very short, nearly symmetrical, lower lobe slightly longer; skin denticles on top of back loosely spaced apart, rough, fairly sharp, broadly hooked, with 4+ front ridges; center of back with a row of hooked thorns from nape  to 1st dorsal fin, between the dorsals (and behind them in young);  head with small but prominent thorns on snout and between eyes, and a few between spiracles, those becoming more numerous and  forming patches in adults.

Top surface blue-grey to light grey,  with or without discrete dark spotting;  bottom surface white;  young with faint symmetrical white spots on top surface.

Size: 152 cm; size at birth 28-30 cm.

Habitat: Generally found close inshore but may descend to great depths.

Depth: 26-1375 m, usually 60-250 m.

Western North Atlantic; Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico.

Note: Currently S. heteroptera and S. mexicana (from the southern Gulf of Mexico) are regarded as synonyms of S. dumeril.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 26
Depth Range Max
  • 1375
Length Max
  • 152