The coloring of this shark may vary by individual shark

The Spotted houndshark, (Triakis maculate), is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae found in tropical and temperate waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Like in the name, this shark does indeed have spots, but sometimes this shark does not have spots.


Family: Triakidae – Houndsharks

Genus: Triakis 

Species: maculate


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Triakidae

Common NameHoundsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born between 40-43 cm/1.3-1.4 feet. The maximum recorded is 180 cm/5.9 feet and possibly as long as 240 cm/7.9 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The upper labial furrows are long, reaching the lower symphysis of the mouth. The teeth are not blade-like and have straight, erect cusps.

Head: The snout is short and broadly rounded. There are widely separated lobate anterior nasal flaps that do not reach the mouth.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Spotted houndshark can be found in the East Pacific from Peru to northern Chile and the Galapagos Islands (0° and 30° S). They are found inshore in tropical and temperate demersal waters on the continental shelf.

Diet: Their diet is believed to consist mainly of crustaceans.

Aesthetic Identification: The Spotted houndshark is robust and stout for its kind. It usually has many black spots that are small. Some of these sharks are not spotted. Females that are plain, may have young that are spotted. The fins are broad. The pectoral fins are broadly falcate. The first dorsal fin is with a backwards, rear-sloping rear edge.

Biology and Reproduction: Poorly known. Their reproduction is more than likely ovoviviparous. There is one record of 14 pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Spotted Houndshark Future and Conservation: They are currently vulnerable. They are uncommon. This shark is taken by fisheries in Peru, and more than likely in Chile too by gillnet and trawling. They are used for food and this is one of the sharks collectively known as “tollo”. Some fishing pressures have been decreased, but further monitoring over a given period of time is needed for the status of this shark or of “tollo” to change.

Spotted Houndshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.