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Triakidae (Houndsharks)

Species Currently in the DFL

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Triakis semifasciata
Leopard Shark
About This Family
Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific
Marine, continental and insular shelves and slopes
Houndsharks are small to moderate-sized sharks occurring mostly in continental and insular waters from the shoreline to the outermost shelf. Some are deepwater species; depth range may reach 2000 m, while others can be found in sandy, muddy, or rocky inshore habitats. One species occurs in coral reefs, and a few species were sighted by the river mouths. They can tolerate fresh water for extended periods.

These sharks are active at night, and may swim more or less continuously in large schools or alone. They have horizontally oval eyes, nictitating eyelids, anterior nasal flaps, two large-sized, spineless dorsal fins, and an anal fin. The first dorsal base well ahead of pelvic bases.

They mainly feed on invertebrates and bony fishes, and can grow to a maximum reported length of 2 m.

This family comprises 9 genera with at least 38 species.

References: Compagno 1984; Nelson 2006
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