Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: DALATIIDAE, Kitefin Sharks


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head narrow, conical
large spiracles
Ds small, rounded, usually no spine, D1 < / = D2
top teeth - narrow needles, bottom - broad blades
no A

FAMILY DALATIIDAE

KITEFIN SHARKS

Small to moderate sized sharks; head narrow and conical; snout short to moderate in length, narrow, conical, not flattened; no nictitating eyelids; large spiracle behind eye; mouth small; teeth in upper and lower jaws different, upper - narrow, needle-like, small, lower - compressed, broad, blade-like, larger than upper, with 1 point; 5 small gill slits, all before pectoral; both dorsal fins small, rounded, narrow, first equal or smaller than second, usually without spines, sometimes a small spine at front of first dorsal; origin of first behind rear pectoral margin; origin of second near pelvic rear base; no lateral ridges between pectoral and pelvic fins; no anal fin; no pits on upper tail base; keel on tail base present or absent; tail fin variable from strongly asymmetrical to nearly symmetrical, terminal notch  under tip of top lobe.

Kitefin sharks (7 genera, 8 species) are found worldwide in tropical and temperate water occasionally in higher latitudes. Three species from two genera enter shallow waters in the Greater Caribbean and are included here.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER CARPENTER (2002)