Mustelus antarcticus

Günther, 1870

Gummy shark
Classification: Elasmobranchii Carcharhiniformes Triakidae

Reference of the original description
Günther, A. (1870)
Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum. London, British Museum(Natural History). Vol. 8: 549 p.

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Images of the original description (synonym)
Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Emissola antarctica, Emissola ganearum, Emissola maugeana, Galeorhinus antarcticus, Galeus antarcticus, Mustelus walkeri

Mustelus antarcticus
Syntype: BMNH: 1868.8.18.5 Tasmania BMNH: 1869.6.7.1 New South Wales BMNH: 1843.11.20.3 Land of Admiralty, BMNH: 1823.2.10.12 New Zealand BMNH: 1843.11.20.4 Land of Admiralty, BMNH: 1843.11.20.2 Land of Admiralty,
Emissola ganearum
Holotype: AMS: IB.1630; Paratype: AMS: E.2316; AMS: IA.672;
Emissola maugeana
Holotype: AMS: IA.1922;
Mustelus walkeri
Holotype: CSIRO: H 460-02; Paratype: CSIRO: H 632-02; CSIRO: H 705-01; CSIRO: H 2471-02; CSIRO: H 3643-20; CSIRO: H 2469-02; CSIRO: H 2471-01; CSIRO: H 1367-01; CSIRO: H 2468-01; CSIRO: H 2469-01; CSIRO: H 1362-01; CSIRO: H 1362-02; CSIRO: H 1310-04; CSIRO: H 1310-05; CSIRO: H 1310-06; CSIRO: H 459-02; QM: I 38198;

Description :

Citation: Mustelus antarcticus Günther, 1870: In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 07/2024

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Mustelus antarcticus Günther, 1870, © FAO,
Common names
deu \(T\) Australischer Glatthai, deu \(T\) Gummihai, spa Musola, spa Musola austral, fra \(T\) Emissole gommée, eng Australian smooth hound, eng Flake, eng Gummy shark, eng Smooth dog-shark, eng Smooth hound dogfish, eng Spotted gummy shark, eng Sweet William, eng White-spotted gummy shark, ita Palombo antartico, por Cacao antárctico, por Caçao-antárctico

Short Description
Diagnosis after Compagno, 1984 [517]: Body fairly slender. Head short, prepectoral length 17 to 21% of total length; snout moderately long and bluntly angular in lateral view, preoral snout 5.7 to 7.4% of total length, preorbital snout 5.8 to 7.8% of total length; internarial space broad, 2.6 to 3.2% of total length; eyes fairly large, eye length 1.6 to 3.2 times in preorbital snout and 2.4 to 4.2% of total length; interorbital space fairly broad, 3.7 to 5.1% of total length; mouth short, its length subequal to eye length and 3.0 to 3.6% of total length; upper labial furrows considerably longer than lowers and 2.0 to 2.8% of total length; teeth molariform and asymmetric, with cusp reduced to a low point; buccopharyngeal denticles confined to tongue and anteriormost part of palate. Interdorsal space 19 to 23% of total length; trailing edges of dorsal fins denticulate, without bare ceratotrichia; pectoral fins moderately large, length of anterior margins 12 to 16% of total length, width of posterior margin 8 to 13% of total length; pelvic anterior margins 6.2 to 7.9% of total length; anal height 2.5 to 4.4% of total length; anal-caudal space greater than second dorsal height, 6.9 to 8.3% of total length; ventral caudal lobe more or less falcate in adults. Crowns of lateral trunk denticles lanceolate, with longitudinal ridges extending at least half their length. Cranium, hyomandibulae and scapulocoracoids not hypercalcified in adults; palatoquadrates not subdivided; monospondylous precaudal centra 35 to 38, diplospondylous precaudal centra 39 to 50, precaudal centra 76 to 86. Colour grey or grey-brown, above, light below, usually with numerous small white spots but without dark spots or dark bars. Development ovoviviparous.

Eastern Indian Ocean: endemic to southern Australia, from Western Australia through Bass Strait to Tasmania and northern New South Wales. Possibly extends northward to southern Queensland and Shark Bay in Western Australia. Confused with another undescribed species whose southern distribution extends to Dampier (20°40"quot;S) (possibly Shark Bay) in the west and Bowen (20°S) (possibly Coffs Harbor) in the east. There is a single stock of gummy sharks in the area, however, regional stock differences might still exist. Source:

Human uses
fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes

Ovoviviparous but aplacental, with 1 to 38 pups. Embryos feed solely on yolk [733]. Gestation period ranges from 11-12 months. Newborn and juvenile gummy sharks aggregate in many areas across southern Australia but it is not known whether they inhabit defined shallow-water nursery areas. Ovulation takes place in Oct.-Dec. or Nov.- Feb. (WA). Parturition is complete by the following Dec. (Ref. 6390). The sharks are born at 30-35 cm [1388]. Occurs on the continental shelf and slope (Ref. 75154). Newborn and juvenile gummy sharks are found in many areas across southern Australia, but no well-defined nursery areas have been identified. These sharks are capable of long migrations, females travelling longer distances than males (Ref. 6390).

Size / Weight / Age
157 cm TL (male/unsexed; [517]); 175 cm TL (female); max. published weight: 30.8 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 16 years (Ref. 6390)

demersal; oceanodromous [17660]; marine; depth range ? - 350 m [1388], usually ? - 80 m [1388]

shark-references Species-ID=3780;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Calicotyle stossichi Braun, 1899 [17436]
  • Empruthotrema dasyatidis Whittington & Kearn, 1992 [17002]
  • Erpocotyle antarctica (Hughes, 1928) [17150] [22557] [16602]
  • Macrophyllida antarctica (Hughes, 1928) Johnston, 1930 [17150]
  • Triloculotrema japanicae Kearn, 1993 [17002]

  • Elthusa raynaudii (Milne Edwards, 1840) [16602]

  • Branchellion australis Leigh-Sharpe, 1916 [16602] [28595]
  • Pontobdella leucothela Schimarda, 1861 [28595]