shortnose spurdog

Small spurdog shark with a very long gestation period

The Shortnose spurdog (Squalus megalops) also known as the Piked spurdog is a small shark belonging to the family Squalidae. The Shortnose spurdog is located primarily off the coast of Southern Australia and South Africa.


Family: Squalidae – Dogfish Sharks

Genus: Squalus 

Species: megalops


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Squalidae

Common NameDogfish Sharks




Average Size and Length: The female Shortnose spurdog is typically around 1.9 feet, while the male Shortnose spurdog is typically 1.5 feet long. The maximum length can be over 2.5 feet long. They are born between 9-9.8 inches.

Head: The head of the Shortnose spurdog is broad with a short, broad snout with small barbels on the anterior nasal flaps. Large eyes well in front of the gill slits.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Shortnose spurdog can be found off the coasts of southern Africa and Australia. It is possible that the Shortnose spurdog may also live in the eastern Atlantic, southern Indian Ocean, western North Pacific, and possibly the Mediterranean, but there has been no data to support these populations so far. They can be found on or near seabeds from 0-732 m. The nursery grounds are typically on the outer continental shelves.

Diet: The Shortnose spurdog typically preys on cephalopods such as squid and octopuses, but will also eat fish and crustaceans. A number of unique organisms have been found in their stomachs such as algae, the remains of sea lions, as well as brittle stars.

Aesthetic Identification: The Shortnose spurdog is small, slender, dark-grey, grey-brown, to dark brown. There is a dorsal caudal margin and the area of the posterior caudal notch is dusky or blackish in color. The pectoral and caudal fin lobes have white posterior margins. The pectoral fin margins are concave with angular rear tips. The first dorsal fin is high with a short, slender spine which originates over the pectoral inner margins.

Biology and Reproduction: The Shortnose spurdog is ovoviviparous. They typically have 1-3 pups per litter. Gestation is 2 years long. Females reach sexual maturity at 15 years of age, while males reach sexual maturity at 8 years of age. The lifespan of the Shortnose spurdog can be up to 46 years, but typically between 23 and 33. Females can live the maximum, while for males the maximum is 33 years of age.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Shortnose spurdogs are often social, and can be found in large dense schools and sometimes shoals. They do participate in segregation partially by sex.

Shortnose Spurdog Future and Conservation: Not enough data to evaluate.

Shortnose Spurdog Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.