| Common names: houndshark (English), tollo (Espanol) |
Triakis maculata Kner & Steindachner, 1867
A medium-sized, very stout shark with a short, broadly rounded snout; eyes are horizontal ovals; front nostrils wide apart, front nasal flaps lobate, not reaching mouth and well separated from each other; long upper lip furrows that reach the lower symphysis of the mouth; teeth semi-molar-like, with straight erect points and side points absent or poorly developed; pectoral fins broadly curved in adults; dorsal fins of similar size; rear margin of 1st dorsal oblique; origin of second dorsal fin well forward of anal fin origin; anal fin smaller than and with origin under middle of second dorsal; tail strongly asymmetrical, lower lobe without point; fins with rounded tips.
Generally light grey becoming white on ventral surface; usually scattered black spots on body, but sometimes plain-colored.
Reaches: 180 cm, possibly 240 cm.
Habitat: probably reefs and soft bottoms.
Depth: 10-200 m?.
Galapagos Archipelago and southern Ecuador to northern Chile.
Global Endemism: All species, East Pacific endemic, TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism: All species, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily, Peruvian province, primarily, Continent + Island (s), Continent, Island (s)
Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo), South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
Catalog Number: USNM 77699
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): R. Coker
Locality: Lobos De Tierra, Peru, Pacific
- Type: Evermann, B. W. & Radcliffe, L. 1917. Bulletin of the United States National Museum. No. 95: 9, fig 2.; pl. 2.
Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only
Water Column Position: Bottom, Bottom only
Habitat: Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove), Soft bottom only, Mud, Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat: Demersal
Habitat and Ecology
Triakis maculata reaches a maximum size of 180 to 240 cm total length (TL), although a confirmed size at maturity is unknown (Compagno in prep). The size at birth for this species is 30 to 40 cm TL and one female was found to have a litter of 14 pups (Compagno in prep).
Diet: mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs), bony fishes
Life History and Behavior
CITES: Not listed
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
T. maculata, is assessed as Vulnerable on the basis of suspected declines resulting from intensive fishing, and presumed ongoing fishing mortality. The relative productivities of T. maculata, M. whitneyi and M. mento are unknown, so it is not possible to infer population trends of T. maculata by reference to the other two species. However triakid sharks that have been studied to date are mainly moderately fast-growing and early-maturing.
The fishery shift away from tollo may allow recovery of the stocks, but extreme caution and stringent management must be applied in the future regarding any redevelopment of a tollo fishery. An Endangered classification may be warranted but the lack of information makes this difficult to determine. The recent regulations need to be improved and adequately enforced, and obtaining species-specific information is an urgent priority. Further research and improvements in monitoring are a priority in order to accurately assess the status of this species throughout its range, and to determine the appropriate conservation and management action.
The lack of accurate species-specific information on this species not only in Peru, but elsewhere in its range reinforces the need for further research with a focus on Triakis maculata and other tollo species.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
The spotted houndshark, Triakis maculata, is a houndshark of the family Triakidae. It occurs in tropical waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of South America. It usually grows to a length of about 180 centimetres (71 in). The reproduction of this houndshark is ovoviviparous, with a litter of fourteen pups being found in one female with a birth size of 30 to 40 centimetres (12 to 16 in). The diet is believed to consist mainly of crustaceans.
The spotted houndshark grows to a length of about 180 cm (71 in) or exceptionally 240 cm (94 in). It is a robust species with a rounded snout, widely separated, lobed nasal flaps, and long upper lip grooves that extend as far as the junction of the jawbones. The teeth have straight, erect cusps and are not blade-like. The first dorsal fin has a sloping posterior margin and the pectoral fins are broadly falcate (long and curved). Sometimes the body is uniform in colour but more often it is finely spotted with black.
The spotted houndshark is caught for human consumption by gillnet, and sometimes by trawling, in artisan fisheries mainly in Peru, along with the humpback smooth-hound (Mustelus whitneyi) and the speckled smooth-hound (Mustelus mento), collectively known (in Spanish) as "tollo" in local fisheries. Of these three fish species, the spotted houndshark is probably less common than the other two and its total numbers seem to be declining. Some control over fishing has been instituted by the introduction of a minimum size requirement but this has been set rather low in relation to the size of the fish at sexual maturity. Because of these factors, the IUCN has rated the conservation status of this fish as being "vulnerable". However, with the decline in the main species sought (Mustelus whitneyi), fishing pressure has decreased and further monitoring is required to assess whether the population trend will be reversed.
- Romero, M.; Leandro, L. (2007). "Triakis maculata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
- Compagno, L.J.V. "Spotted houndshark (Triakis maculata)". Sharks of the World. Marine Species Information Portal. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
- "Triakis maculata Kner & Steindachner, 1867: Spotted houndshark". FishBase. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
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