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Species: Hydrolagus colliei, Spotted ghost-shark

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body brown + many white spots
D2 deep center indentation

Hydrolagus colliei Lay & Bennett, 1839

Spotted ghost-shark

Body compressed, relatively elongate (length before anus 67-93% length from gill opening to origin of upper tail fin lobe), tapering to a filamentous tail; head very large; snout short, round, conical; eyes large, bright green; nostrils large, before mouth, connected to outer corner of mouth by a deep groove covered with a flap; mouth under head; teeth are plates, 2 pairs above, 1 pair below; gill opening before pectoral, covered by fleshy operculum; 2 separate dorsal fins; 1st dorsal fin large, triangular, erect, with a long spine at front entirely bound to fin; 2nd dorsal fin low, long based, its border deeply indented in center, breaking it into two parts; anal fin absent; pectoral fins broad, triangular; pelvic fins broad, triangular; tail fin elongate, lance-like, both lobes about equal in height , with a whip-like rear filament; lateral line canals well developed, on head and body noticeably open; skin smooth, no scales; males with large, multipointed external sex organs.

Color: pale grey brown to reddish brown above, greyish below; head and body heavily covered with white spots, those on upper body and head small, those on lower body and tail larger, and more elongate; fins grey, dorsal fins and upper tail fin lobe with whitish bases, lower tail fin lobe whitish.

Reaches 100 cm

Depth range: 0-970 m.

Lives on the bottom, mainly rocky areas.

Alaska to southern Baja California, the Gulf of California, Costa Rica.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • No pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 100
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 970