Sawback Angelshark

About the Sawback Angelshark

The Sawback Angelshark sometimes referred to as monkfish, is a critically endangered shark which is native to the Mediterranean and the eastern Atlantic. Their habitat is an intensely fished area and they are easily caught by trawlers, as they like to lie on the bottom of the ocean in the sand. They were commonly caught in the Balearic Islands in the 1970s and 1980s but now the Mediterranean population has almost completely disappeared.

These Angelsharks are cunning predators who can lie still, camouflaged, on the ocean floor for weeks at a time. They wait until their prey is in range before they suddenly strike. They subsist on smaller sharks, bony fish and cuttlefish, as well as crustaceans like shrimps and crabs. They enjoy subtropical waters and are usually found on the muddy bottom of the ocean between 30 and 500m down.

Like other angel sharks, they are wide and flat, almost like a ray. They get their name from their wide, wing-like pectoral fins.  When fully grown, the Sawback Angelshark can reach up to 188cm in length.

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Scientific NameSquatina aculeata
OrderDog and Angelfish Sharks - Squaliformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNCritically Endangered
Litter Size1
Common Length100 - 180 cm
Max Lenght188 cm
Depth Range30 - 500 m
DistributionMediterranean and Black Sea, Western Central Atlantic, Southeast Pacific