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Species: Oxynotus caribbaeus, Caribbean Roughshark

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body high, triangular cross-section
body: broad dark bar; head: 2 dark stripes
2 high, pointed, curved Ds with a spine
mouth small, transverse, under eye
no A



Oxynotus caribbaeus Cervigón, 1961

Caribbean Roughshark

Body strongly compressed, very high, with a triangular cross–section; abdomen with strong lateral ridges between pectoral and pelvic bases; head moderately broad and somewhat flattened; snout flattened; spiracles large to enormous, close behind eyes; five gill slits, very small, all before pectoral fin; mouth nearly transverse and very short and small, with thick, papillose lips; labial furrows elongated, entirely encircling mouth, and under posterior halves of eyes, elongated posteriorly into postoral grooves; upper & lower teeth different, upper teeth much smaller, with single narrow erect smooth cusp; lower teeth very few, highly compressed, serrated, broad and blade-like; skin denticles large, on stalks, with flattened, trident–like cusps, surface of skin extremely rough; dorsal fins very large, broad, angular, high, sail–like and often falcate, with strong stout spines nearly completely buried in the fins and with ungrooved exposed tips; 1st dorsal origin well forward over gill slits; 2nd dorsal smaller than first; pectoral fins high, narrow, pointed; pelvic fins smaller than pectoral fins and dorsal fins; anal fin absent; tail fin with ventral lobe weakly developed in adults, and with subterminal notch strong.

Pale grey above, paler below, with dark blotches on fins, a broad dark area on the body between the dorsal fins; head with two dark stripes: along top of snout and nape, and from mouth through eye to above base of pectoral fin.

Reaches 55 cm

Bottom living on soft and hard bottoms

Depth range 220-800 m

The Bahamas to Venezuela.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 55
Depth Range Min
  • 220
Depth Range Max
  • 800