View all available
grey smoothhound shark pictures
Shark Picture Database
Grey smoothhound, gray smoothhound, Mud shark, sand shark.
Long slender body. Dorsum plain grey/brown. Ventrum pale. Short, narrow head.
Dorsal fin triangular.
labial furrows (mouth creases) equally sized. Origin of dorsal slightly behind
trailing edge of pectoral fin. Ventral caudal lobe poorly developed.
Maximum recorded size: Male 116cm. Female 124cm.
in shallow bays and in deeper water on the continental shelf.
Eastern Pacific. Northern California to southern Baja including all of the Sea
Hunts over sand in search of
burrowing invertebrates. Consumes mostly crabs.
Enters shallow bays in search of food which it locates under the sand.
Occasionally mixes with large aggregations of leopard sharks.
with yolk sac placenta.
Recorded litter size 2-5.
IUCN Red List Status:
IUCN quote: "The grey smoothhound shark is taken as bycatch in California and is
both a target and bycatch of trawl and gillnet fisheries off Mexico. Despite
continued fishing pressure there is no evidence to suggest this species has
declined. This is a relatively fast-growing shark, with relatively short
longevity (approximately nine years), early age at first maturity (2?3 years for
females) and moderate fecundity (3?16 pups per litter), and is therefore
considered to have a high capacity for recovery from fishing pressure compared
to other sharks. These life-history characteristics, combined with no evidence
to suggest the species has declined result in an assessment of Least Concern.
Given that fishing pressure is continuing, catch levels need to be quantified
and catch and population trends should be monitored carefully".
Citation: Pérez-Jiménez, J.C. & Carlisle, A.B. 2009. Mustelus
californicus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version
La Jolla, California.
Brown smoothhound shark M.henlei recognizable by its frayed rear margins on its
dorsal fins. Sicklefin smoothhound M.lunulatus recognizable by its more acute,
backwards sloping dorsal fins.
Reaction to divers:
A shy species that is difficult to approach. Divers remaining still may be
rewarded by a close approach.
Divers and snorkellers at La Jolla Shores near San Diego occasionally encounter
grey smoothhound sharks mixed in with the large aggregations of leopard sharks
that show up there during the summer months. Divers/snorkelers hoping to see
this shark should spend time searching in front of the Marine Room Restaurant; a
shallow stretch of beach at the north end of La Jolla Shores.