A shark collectively known with other sharks as “tollo

The Speckled smoothhound (Mustelus mento) is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae. It is found on the continental and insular shelves of the southeastern Pacific. Sometimes is known collectively with other species as “tollo”.


Family: Triakidae – Houndsharks

Genus: Mustelus 

Species: mento


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Triakidae

Common NameHoundsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born around 30 cm/11.8 inches. Mature males have been measured between 65-76 cm/2.1-2.5 feet, and mature females between 86-90 cm/2.8-2.9 feet. The longest recorded has been 130 cm/4.2 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is small. The teeth are arranged in a pavement like fashion that are used for crushing. They are broadly rounded and uncusped.

Head: The snout is short and bluntly angular. It is similar to the Striped smoothhound but with a shorter, more rounded head. The eyes are small.

Tail: The caudal peduncle is short. The lower lobe of the tail fin is narrow and slightly curved.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Speckled smoothhound can be found in the Southeast Pacific in the Galapagos Islands, in Peru, Chile, Juan Fernandez Island (possibly in the southwest Atlantic in Argentina, but that is more than likely false) (0° and 54° S, 95°W – 67°W). They are found in temperate waters on continental and insular shelves, inshore and offshore between 52-164 feet. It is subtropical demersal, and swims close to the seabed.

Aesthetic Identification: The Speckled smoothhound is stalky with a grey to grey brown body with white spots dorsally, and lighter ventrally. There are vertical dark bands that are found in young sharks. The trailing edge of the dorsal fins have small, pointed projections. The pectoral fins are large and the pelvic fins moderately large.

Biology and Reproduction: They are ovoviviparous, having seven pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Speckled Smoothhound Future and Conservation: They are currently near threatened. They have been important to fisheries for their meat. They have been caught using gill nets typically. Collectively the Speckled smoothhound, the Humpback smoothhound and the Spotted houndshark are known as “tollo”.

Landings in Chile peaked in 1989 at around 1,300 tons but have since declined to less than 200 tons a year, with fish stocks diminishing and a transfer of the fisheries to targeting rays. In 2001, the Peruvian authorities introduced a minimum size requirement of 60 cm/1.9 feet for any “tollo”.

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