Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Zameus squamulosus, Smallmouth Velvet Dogfish, Velvet Dogfish, Velvet Dogfish Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

low flat head
long narrow snout
space between Ds < head
D1 > D2; Ds with small spines
teeth: top = needles, bottom = erect, oblique blades
mouth short, narrow, transverse
uniform black

Zameus squamulosus (Gunther, 1877)

Velvet Dogfish, Velvet Dogfish Shark, Smallmouth Velvet Dogfish

Body cylindrical, fusiform; head low, flat; eyes on side of head, without nictitating membranes; spiracles large, just behind eyes; snout relatively long, narrow, without barbels; mouth short, nearly transverse; top teeth narrow, needle-like, without cusplets, non-overlapping, 47-60 rows; bottom teeth large, blade-like, overlapping, without cusps, erect, 32-38 rows; gill slits 5, all before pectoral fin; 2 dorsal fins, each with a very small, grooved spine; 1st dorsal smaller than triangular 2nd dorsal; space between dorsals less than head length; origin of 1st dorsal behind pectoral fins, closer to pectoral tip than to pelvic; no anal fin; pectoral fins lobe-like, with rounded tips; pelvic fins larger than 2nd dorsal; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, upper lobe with deep notch under tip, lower lobe strong; no keels or pits before base of tail fin; skin denticles close-set, not enlarged, flank denticles with prominent longitudinal ridges and smaller transverse ridges.

Body and fins uniform dark brown to black.

Reaches 84 cm

Epipelagic tp benthopelagic

Depth range 0 - 2200 m.

Scattered locations in all three oceans; Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-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
  • 84
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 2200