Another native Australian spurdog very similar to others of the area

The Western Highfin spurdog (Squalus altipinnis previously sp. C) is a dogfish of the family Squalidae found on the upper continental slope off Western Australia, at depths between 722-1,673 feet. 


Family: Squalidae – Dogfish Sharks

Genus: Squalus 

Species: altipinnis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Squalidae

Common NameDogfish Sharks




Average Size and Length: The maximum recorded length is least 2.6 feet.

Head: The Western Highfin spurdog has a slightly longer snout than the Eastern Highfin spurdog. The head is broad. There are small barbels on the anterior nasal flaps. The eyes are large, high, and very close to the tip of the snout.

Tail: The caudal fin of the Western Highfin spurdog has a narrow pale border that sometimes has an inconspicuous dark bar on the base.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: found on the upper continental slope off Western Australia, at depths between 722-1,673 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The Western Highfin spurdog is extremely similar to the Eastern Highfin spurdog. It has a somewhat slender body that is grey-brown dorsally and counter-shaded white ventrically. There are some noticeable differences. One difference is that the Western Highfin spurdog has greyish dorsal fins with pale, whitish tips. The second dorsal fin spine is a bit more-slender. It is slightly lower than the fin apex. The pectoral fins are broad and triangular have slightly concave posterior margins and narrowly rounded rear tips.

Biology and Reproduction: The Western Highfin spurdog is thought to be ovoviviparous. Males mature at 1.8 feet.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Not much is known about the Western Highfin spurdog, but we do know they form aggregations by sex.

Western Highfin Spurdog Future and Conservation: There is not enough data to classify this shark, but they are endemic to the area. They are possibly discarded as bycatch by deep trawling fisheries.

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