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Author: Dumeril, 1829

Field Marks:
An angelshark with heavy dorsal spines, heavily fringed nasal barbels and anterior nasal flaps, and no ocelli on body.

Diagnostic Features:
Trunk relatively slender. Anterior nasal barbels strongly fringed; posterior margin of anterior nasal flaps between nasal barbels and tips strongly fringed; distance from eye to spiracle less than 1.5 times eye diameter; dermal folds on sides of head with 2 or 3 prominant triangular lobes. Origin of first dorsal fin usually about opposite pelvic rear tips; pectoral fins rather long and low, free rear tips narrowly subangular. Large spines present on midline of back and tail from head to dorsal fins and between the fin bases, also on snout and above eyes; lateral trunk denticles pyramidal, not hooked and with 3 ridges. Colour: no ocelli on body.

Geographical Distribution:
Eastern Atlantic: Western Mediterranean, Morocco, Senegal, Guinea to Nigeria, Gabon to Angola.

Habitat and Biology:
An angelshark of the continental shelf and uppermost slope of the warm-temperate and tropical eastern Atlantic, on or near the bottom at depths of 30 to 500 m. Ovoviviparous. Eats small sharks and jacks.

Maximum total length about 188 cm, becomingadult at 124 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Caught primarily in bottom trawls, but also in fixed bottom nets, on line gear, and even in pelagic trawls. Utilized dried salted and fresh for human consumption; oil and hides for leather also taken.

Type material:
Holotype: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, MNHN 1218, 410 mm female. Type Locality: Mediterranean Sea off Marseilles, France.

Sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata)