Little known tropical species in the eastern Pacific

The Sharpnose smoothhound or also called the Sharptooth smoothhound (Mustelus dorsalis) is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae. It is found on the continental shelves of the tropical eastern Pacific from southern Mexico to Ecuador and possibly Peru. It is a smaller, lesser-known shark among its range. They have pavement like teeth specialized for its diet.


Family: Triakidae – Houndsharks

Genus: Mustelus 

Species: dorsalis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Triakidae

Common NameHoundsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born between 21-23 cm/8.2-9 inches. Mature sharks have been measured at 43 cm/1.4 feet, and the maximum recorded has been 64 cm/2 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: They have high-cusped, flat teeth that are arranged in a pavement like fashion that is ideal for crushing prey.

Head: The snout is long and acutely pointed. The nostrils are large. The eyes are small and widely set.

Denticles: The lateral trunk denticles are lanceolate like.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Sharpnose smoothhound or Sharptooth smoothhound can be found in the east Pacific in Mexico to Ecuador and possibly Peru (20°N and 5°S). They are found in tropical, inshore waters of the continental shelf and considered demersal.  

Diet: The mainly eat shrimp and other crustaceans.

Aesthetic Identification: The Sharpnose smoothhound or Sharptooth smoothhound is small, slender and plain grey-brown dorsally, and lighter ventrally. The dorsal fins are broadly triangular and are unfringed.

Biology and Reproduction: They are viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta, having 4 pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Sharpnose Smoothhound Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to evaluate. They are more than likely uncommon compared with other houndsharks within its region. They are probably taken by fisheries with other sharks within its genus and used for its meat.

Sharpnose Smoothhound Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.