Venezuelan Dwarf Smoothhound

Small shark of Venezuela

The Venezuelan Dwarf smoothhound (Mustelus minicanis) is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae. It is found on the continental shelves of the tropical western central Atlantic, off the coast of South America between Cabo de la Vela, Colombia and Rio Caribe, Venezuela.


Family: Triakidae – Houndsharks

Genus: Mustelus 

Species: minicanis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Triakidae

Common NameHoundsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born around 22 cm/8.7 inches. Mature males have been measured at 47 cm/ 1.5 feet and the maximum recorded for a female has been recorded at 57 cm/1.8 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The upper labial furrows are somewhat longer than the lower labial furrows. The teeth are low crowned with weak cusps and are pavement like.

Head: The head is short and stout. The nostrils are widely spaced, and the eyes are large and close set.

Tail: The ventral caudal lobe is poorly developed.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Venezuelan Dwarf smoothhound can be found in the west Atlantic in Venezuela and Colombia offshore on the outer continental shelf between 233-600 feet. They are considered tropical benthopelagic.

Aesthetic Identification: The Venezuelan Dwarf smoothhound is small and stout. It is uniform grey without any spots. The dorsal fins are unfringed. Newborn sharks have dusky-tipped dorsal and caudal fins.

Biology and Reproduction: Their biology is poorly known; they are aplacental viviparous or ovoviviparous. There is one litter of five known.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Venezuelan Dwarf Smoothhound Future and Conservation: There is currently not enough data to evaluate. Only nine specimens are known. They are possibly caught by trawlers.

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