Sharptooth Houndshark

About the Sharptooth Houndshark

Sharptooth Houndsharks can be found off the coasts of southern Angola to South Africa. They favour sandy areas near rocky reefs and gullies. They swim and stay close to the bottom.  

Biology and Behaviour:

Sharptooth Houndsharks can reach a length of 170 cm and has large, round fins. Its pectoral fins are broad and sickle-shaped in adults. They have a blunt snout and long furrows around its mouth. Their teeth are small and tightly packed to form a pavement-like surface. Its teeth allow it to grasp slippery prey, while their broad bases allow it to crush hard-shelled prey like crabs.

They are grey or bronze above with a small amount of black spotting and five pairs of gill slits.

They hunt mainly at night and feed on crustaceans, bony fishes and cephalopods that also frequent the bottom. Sometimes, they will pursue a prey right onto the shore.

Sharptooth Houndsharks is a highly active shark, but sometimes it can be found resting inside rock crevices.  

During the summer, Sharptooth sharks form groups in shallow water which may be related to reproduction because of the number of pregnant females.

Reproduction and Lifespan

Sharptooth Houndsharks are ovoviviparous. Females typically give birth between six to 12 pups between late May and August after a gestation period of 20 months. Females reproduce every two or three years. Larger female Sharptooth Houndsharks tend to have larger litters. The length at birth for a pup is about 30 to 32 cm or sometimes 42 to 44 cm.

Sharptooth sharks grow slow. Males mature at 120 to 140 cm long at 11 to 13 years of age, while females mature at 130 to 150 cm long at 15 to 16 years of age. The maximum lifespan for Sharptooth hound sharks is 25 years.

Conservation and Tourism

Because of its small distribution range and its low growth and reproductive rates, they are vulnerable to overfishing. The IUCN lists Sharptooth Houndsharks as near threatened.

They can be seen at some aquariums, but there are no specific conservation methods currently in place. Sea Fisheries Research Institute has a proposal under consideration to decommercialize these sharks and protect it from expanding commercial export fisheries for small sharks. Although they can still be caught for a recreational sport.  

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Scientific NameTriakis megalopterus
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNNear Threatened
Litter Size6-12
SpeciesTriakis megalopterus
Common Length142 cm
Max Lenght170 cm
Depth Range1 - 50 m
DistributionSoutheast Atlantic
EnvironmentDemersal, Marine