Spotted Estuary Smooth-hound

Shark Database | Ground Sharks - Carcharhiniformes | Spotted Estuary Smooth-hound

About the Spotted Estuary Smooth-hound

Spotted estuary smooth hound, also known as rig, are deepwater medium sized sharks that are endemic to New Zealand in the southwest Pacific Ocean at depths of zero to 860 m, but usually from zero to 400 m.

Biology and Behaviour

Spotted estuary smooth hounds are grey in colour and have a pointed snout. They make seasonal inshore-offshore migrations. They form schools that are separated by size and gender. They feed on crustaceans, mainly crabs and sometimes echiurans and molluscs.

Reproduction and Lifespan

Spotted estuary smooth hounds are a fast growing species and mature at the age of seven or eight years. 

They are ovoviviparous and females give brith between two to 37 pups with a gestation period of about 11 months. Young smooth hounds are 20 to 32 cm at birth. Most mature females give birth every year thus leaving females about one to two months between pregnancies.

Males can grow up to a length of 125 cm and females grow a little longer at 151 cm, but they are commonly 85 cm long.

They can live up to 15 years.

Conservation and Tourism

The IUCN lists spotted estuary smooth hounds as least concern. The population for spotted estuary smooth hounds has been stable for the past 17 years and the population trend is currently increasing. The Quota Management System manages the fishing quota for this species.   

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Spotted Estuary Smooth-hound Gallery

Scientific Name Mustelus lenticulatus
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNLeast Concern
Litter Size2-37
SpeciesMustelus lenticulatus
Common Length125 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range0 - 860 m
DistributionSouthwest Pacific