small spotted catshark

Small-spotted Catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula)

Also sometimes known as the “lesser spotted dogfish”, the small-spotted catshark is a species of catshark (Scyliorhinidae) which occurs on the continental shelves and the uppermost slopes along the coasts of Norway, and the British Isles south to Senegal, including the Mediterranean in part. Small-spotted catsharks are opportunistic feeders and will feed on a wide range of marine invertebrates and small fish.  S. canicula are known to use the behavior known as ‘scale rasping’ as a feeding mechanism, where the shark will anchor food items near its tail so that their rapid head and jaw movements can tear away bite-sized pieces.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Chondrichthyes-Elasmobranchii-Selachimorpha-Carchariniformes-Scyliorhinidae-Scyliorhinus-S. canicula

Image: Hans Hillewaert