Common Smooth-Hound Shark (Mustelus mustelus)
Starry Smooth-Hound Shark (Mustelus asterias)
The smooth-hound sharks are members of the Triakidae family (along with tope). Both species are found regularly throughout Liverpool Bay. The starry smooth-hound is distinguished from the common smooth-hound by the highly reflective spots upon its back, the lighter grey colouring and smaller size (up to 1.4m) rather than the sandy brown of the common smooth-hound and larger size (up to 2m). Both these species use different breeding methods, while the common smooth-hound is viviparous, the starry smooth-hound is aplacental viviparous (also known as ovoviparous).These two sharks are both target species of the Liverpool Bay Marine Life Trusts and the UK Shark Tagging Programme’s tagging project.
Triakidae are commonly known as hound sharks due to these animals aggregating in large numbers like a pack of dogs.
IUCN status Least Concern
IUCN status Vulnerable
Both of these sharks feed primarily on crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters, hermit crabs and slipper lobsters.
Where to find them:
Both species of smooth-hound are caught regularly throughout the summer in the rock channel off New Brighton and are also known in the Mersey. They are also widely distributed in the shallower areas of Liverpool Bay at depths under 100m. It is also believed that New Brighton is an important pupping ground for these sharks.
Did you know that the first shark tagged by Liverpool Bay Marine Life Trust was a Common smooth-hound?
Did you know that we know very little about these species in general and we hope our research will change that.