Mustelus mustelus

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Classification: Elasmobranchii Carcharhiniformes Triakidae

Reference of the original description
Linné, C. (1758)
Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, regnum animale, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus differentiis synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Stockholm, Laurentii Salvii, 824pp.

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Galeorhinus laevis, Galeorhinus mustelus, Galeus asterias, Galeus laevis, Galeus mustellus, Galeus mustelus, Murmille mustelus, Mustelus cf. mustelus, Mustelus equestris, Mustelus laevis, Mustelus vulgaris, Myrmillo mustelus, Pleuracromylon laevis, Squalus mustellus, Squalus mustelus

Mustelus mustelus
XXXX: No types known;
Galeus laevis
XXXX: No types known;
Mustelus equestris
Lectotype: ANSP: 617 (old: Bonaparte 248); Paralectotype: ANSP: 618 (old: Bonaparte 248, ANSP 618-620);
Mustelus laevis
XXXX: No types known;
Mustelus vulgaris
XXXX: No types known;

Description :

Citation: Mustelus mustelus (Linnaeus, 1758): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 07/2024

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Mustelus mustelus (Linnaeus, 1758), © FAO,
Common names
deu \(T\) Gemeiner Südlicher Glatthai, deu \(T\) Glatthai, deu \(T\) Grauer Glatthai, deu \(T\) Hundshai, deu \(T\) Mittelmeer-Glatthai, deu \(T\) Südlicher Glatthai, spa Boca blanca, spa Cazón, spa Musola, spa Musola gavatia, spa Musola pintada, spa Musola vera, spa Tollo, fra \(T\) Chien de mer, fra \(T\) Emissole lisse, fra \(T\) Galéos, fra \(T\) Gat roumillon, fra \(T\) Lentillat, fra \(T\) Missole, fra \(T\) Mustèle vulgaire, fra \(T\) Palloun, fra \(T\) Émissole lisse commune, eng Gray mouth dog, eng Houndshark, eng Smooth dogfish, eng Smooth hound, eng Smooth-hound, eng Smoothhound, eng Stellate smooth-hound, eng Sweet William, ita Cagneto, ita Cagnoleto, ita Cagnoletto, ita Can, ita Cane, ita Cialestru, ita Gattone, ita Mussola, ita Nisseua, ita Nissoa, ita Nocciolo, ita Palombo, ita Palombo comune, ita Palombo liscio, ita Palombo nocciolo, ita Palumme, ita Palumme verace, ita Palummu, ita Penn, ita Penne, ita Stire, por Caneja, por Caneja-lisa, por Caçao, por Cação liso ou Caneja, por Cação-branco, por Cação-liso, por Cação-pique, por Corre-costa, por Galhudo, Mazzola bla xewka (malta)

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 sno, 5.3 to 7.4% of total length, preorbital snout 5.9 to 8% of total length; internarial space broad, 2.4 to 3% of total lenght eyes fairly large, eye length about 1.9 to 2.8 times in preorbital snout and 2.3 to 4% of total length; interorbital space narrow, 3.7 to 4.8% of total length; mouth fairly short, length subequal to eye length and 2.2 to 3.5% of total length; upper labial furrows usually slightly longer than lowers and 1.4 to 2.1% of total length; teeth molariform and asymmetric, with cusp reduced to a low point, cusplets absent except in very young sharks; buccopharyngeal denticles confined to tongue tip and extreme anterior end of palate. Interdorsal space 18 to 25% of total length; trailing edges of dorsal fins denticulate, without bare ceratotrichia; first dorsal falcate, with posterior margin almost vertical, midbase closer to pectoral bases than pelvics; pectoral fins moderately large, length of anterior margins 13 to 17% of total length, width of posterior margins 8.2 to 14% of total length; pelvic fins moderately large, anterior margin 6.5 to 9.9% of total length; anal height 2.4 to 4.3% of total length; anal caudal space greater than second dorsal height, and 6.3 to 8.8% of total length; ventral caudal lobe more or less falcate in adults. Crowns of lateral trunk denticles lanceolate or weakly tricuspidate, with longitudinal ridges extending their entire length. Cranium and hyomandibulae not hypercalcified in adults, but scapulocoracoid .tips, distal pectoral radials, and hypochordal arches sometimes slightly hypercalcified; palatoquadrates not subdivided; monospondylous precaudal centra 25 to 32, diplospondylous precaudal centra 40 to 66, precaudal centra 70 to 93. Colour uniform grey or grey-brown, above, light below, no white spots or dark bars, some specimens with dark spots. Development viviparous. Size large, adults 70 to at least 164 cm.

Eastern Atlantic: British Isles and France to South Africa, including the Mediterranean, Madeira and the Canary Islands. Often referred to as Mustelus canis which is restricted to the western Atlantic. Source:

Human uses
fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes; price category: medium; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species

Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta; 4 to 17 (Ref. 39938) young in a litter. Size at birth about 39 cm. Distinct pairing with embrace [17086]. Found on the continental shelves and uppermost slopes, from the intertidal region to at least 350 m depth [517]. Collected to depth of 624 m in the eastern Ionian Sea [17735]. Sometimes in midwater but prefers to swim near the bottom [517]. Feeds mainly on crustaceans, but also cephalopods and bony fishes [517].

Size / Weight / Age
200 cm TL (male/unsexed; [17657]); max. reported age: 24 years [5547]

demersal; marine; depth range 5 - 624 m [17735], usually 5 - 50 m [517]

shark-references Species-ID=3811;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Goussia lucida Lom & Dyková, 1982 [32027]

  • Ceratomyxa sigmoidea Lisnerová, 2021 [30593]
  • Ceratomyxa sphaerulosa Thélohan, 1892 [21233]
  • Chloromyxum africanum Lisnerova, Martinek, Alama-Bermejo, Bouberlova, Schaeffner, Nkabi, Holzer & Bartosova-Sojkova, 2022 [31228]
  • Sphaerospora alata Lisnerová, 2021 [30593]

  • Anilocra physodes (Linnaeus, 1758) [30559]
  • Ceratothoa parallela (Otto, 1828) [30559]
  • Emetha audouini (H. Milne Edwards, 1840) [30559]
  • Natatolana borealis (Lilljeborg, 1851) [29380]