The nursehound, greater spotted dogfish or bull huss, Scyliorhinus stellaris, is a cat shark of the family Scyliorhinidae found from the northeast Atlantic from the Shetlands, southern Scandinavia and the British Isles to Morocco, including the Mediterranean between latitudes 64° N and 12° N, at depths down to 400 m. Its length is up to 1.7 m. Sightings further south to the Congo River mouth may be the West African catshark, Scyliorhinus cervigoni.

The nursehound is a large, fairly stocky, catshark with small anterior nasal flaps that do not reach the mouth, no nasoral grooves, labial furrows on lower jaw only, and second dorsal fin much smaller than the first. It is a common inshore and offshore shark found on the continental shelf over rough, even rocky or coralline ground, and algal-covered bottoms. It feeds on bottom-living invertebrates such as molluscs and crustaceans and on demersal fishes. It is utilized fresh and dried salted for human consumption, and processed into fishmeal.

Coloration is large and small black spots and sometimes white spots covering the dorsal surface over a pale background, saddle markings obsolete. Reproduction is oviparous. The thick-walled eggcases have strong tendrils on the corners for algal attachment.

See also


  • Compagno, Dando, & Fowler, Sharks of the World, Princeton University Press, New Jersey (2005) ISBN 0-691-12072-2

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