Blacktail spurdog

Small spurdog shark found in Noumea with black tips 

The Blacktail Spurdog or sometimes called Blacktailed spurdog (Squalus melanurus) is a dogfish, a member of the family Squalidae, found around New Caledonia in the central Pacific Ocean, at depths from 112-1,575 feet. Its length is up to 2.6 feet in length.


Family: Squalidae – Dogfish Sharks

Genus: Squalus 

Species: melanurus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Squalidae

Common NameDogfish Sharks




Average Size and Length: Adults range from 2.2-2.6 feet in length.

Head: The head and snout are very broad and long with small barbels on the anterior nasal flaps.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Blacktail spurdog can be found in the southwest Pacific in Noumea. They prefer the upper, inner slopes between 112-1,575 feet. 

Diet: They primarily feed on bony fishes.

Aesthetic Identification: The Blacktail spurdog has a slender, dark grey-brown body. The dorsal fins and spine have black tips. There is a partial black edge near the end of the dorsal caudal margin. There is a prominent black patch on the lower caudal lobe. The pectoral fins, the pelvic fins and the upper caudal lobe have white posterior margins. The pectoral fins have straight posterior margins which are narrowly rounded at the rear tips. The first dorsal fin is high with the origin over the pectoral insertions. The first dorsal spine is long and slender with its origin over the pectoral inner margins.

Biology and Reproduction: The reproduction of the Blacktail spurdog is more than likely ovoviviparous, having 3 pups per litter.

There are several parasites that the Blacktail spurdog host including the monogenean Triloculotrema chisholmae found in the nasal tissue, as well as several other species in the family Monocotylidae. There are also skin parasites such as the aegiid isopod Aega angustata. Finally, there are internal parasites such as Vittirhynchus squali and the genus Gilquinia.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Blacktail spurdog will vigorously whip its body and long second dorsal spine when captured.

Blacktail Spurdog Future and Conservation: Not enough data to evaluate, however, not seen as a species to worry about.

Blacktail Spurdog Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans, however it will defend itself if captured.