A common European shark with a twinkle pattern

The Starry smoothhound (Mustelus asterias) is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae. It is found in the northeast Atlantic Ocean on the continental shelves on sand and gravel. They are greyish-brown dorsally, with a unique scattering of small white spots.


Family: Triakidae – Houndsharks

Genus: Mustelus 

Species: asterias


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 78-85 cm/2.5-2.8 feet, and mature females at 85 cm/2.8 feet. The maximum recorded has been measured at 140 cm/4.6 feet.

Average Weight: The published weight is 4.8 kg/10.6 pounds.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth are flat and pavement-like, good for grinding. They are seen in rows of shallowly projecting teeth.

Head: It had a somewhat rounded snout. The large nostrils are closer together then its similar regional species.

Tail: A notch occurs in the upper lobe of the caudal fin and the lower lobe is of medium size.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Starry smoothhound can be found in the northeast Atlantic from the North Sea to the Canaries, the Mediterranean and Mauritania (61° N and 16° N, 19°W and 36°E). It has been found in places like Norway and Scotland and southwards to Algeria, Morocco, and Western Sahara. It has not been found in the Black Sea. They are found on continental and insular shelves on or near sand and gravel from the intertidal zone to deeper than 328 feet, maybe down to 656 feet in temperate demersal waters.

Diet: The feed especially on crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, and slipper lobsters, and mollusks. It. Their teeth are made perfectly for grinding.

Aesthetic Identification: The Starry smoothhound is the only European smoothhound with many small white spots on a grey or grey-brown side and back. There are no darks spots or bars. Ventrally, they are white. It is lean. The dorsal fins are unfringed. The two dorsal fins are of similar shape, but the hindmost one is a little smaller than the foremost. The pectoral fins and the pelvic fins are somewhat small.

Biology and Reproduction: They are ovoviviparous, without a yolk-sac placenta. They have 7-15 pups per litter, the size of the litter increases with the maternal size. Pups are born inshore during the summer after a one-year gestation period. They mature at 2-3 years of age.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: They may migrate inshore during the summer.

Speed: They have been known to swim actively in captivity.

Starry Smoothhound Future and Conservation: They are currently of least concern. It is more common in the northern parts of its range. They are a bycatch of fisheries with a very low market value. They are taken by anglers, and also kept in aquaria.

Starry Smoothhound Recorded Attacks on Humans: They are not a threat to humans.