Whitespotted Dogfish, Squalus acanthias Linnaeus 1758

Other Names: Piked Dogfish, Spiny Dogfish, Spotted Spiny Dogfish, Spurdog, Victorian Spotted Dogfish, White Spotted Dogfish, White-spotted Dogfish, Whitespotted Spurdog, White-spotted Spurdog

A Whitespotted Dogfish, Squalus acanthias, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Source: Ross Robertson / Shorefishes of the Neotropics. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial


An abundant, slender, blue-grey dogfish with pale ventral surfaces. White spots on the dorsal surfaces and flanks, and prominent dorsal spines, the first of which originating behind the pectoral fins rear tips and less than half the size of the second spine.

Cite this page as:
Wood, D.R. 2018, Squalus acanthias in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3513

Whitespotted Dogfish, Squalus acanthias Linnaeus 1758

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Found in temperate waters in the North Atlantic and Pacific. As well as the southern tips of South America, Africa and New Zealand. Common in Tasmanian and Victorian waters, ranging to the great Australian bite. Typically found inshore in bays and estuaries no deeper then 30m, otherwise found on continental shelves down to a depth of 640m.


Slender body with an elongated, pointed snout. Dorsal surface a bluish-grey with irregular white spots, with the under surface of the body pale. Slender dorsal fin spines, second dorsal fin spine being over twice the length of the first. The first dorsal fin spine originating behind the pectoral fins rear tips. Similar blade like teeth in the Upper and Lower jaw.



A viviparous (aplacental) species, with litters of 10-20 young. Males maturing at about 55cm TL and females maturing at about 70cm TL. They have one of the longest gestation periods of all chondrichthyans, 18-24 months.


While not often fished locally, Squalus acanthias is a commercially important species in European markets. It is fished for a wide variety of uses including food production, fertilizers, pet food and leather production.


Wood, D.R. 2018

Whitespotted Dogfish, Squalus acanthias Linnaeus 1758


Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37020008

Biology:Aplacental viviparous

Depth:1-640 m

Max Size:200 cm TL

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