Animal Species:Gummy Shark, Mustelus antarcticus Günther, 1870

Gummy sharks are normally grey above and silvery-white below. The species grows to a length of 1.75 m.

Gummy Shark with mutant colouration

Torsten Blackwood © ImageForum Torsten Blackwood - AFP

Standard Common Name

Gummy Shark

Alternative Name/s

Australian Smooth Hound, Flake, Smooth Dog-shark, Sweet William, White-spotted Gummy Shark

Identification

Gummy sharks are normally grey above and silvery-white below. The common name results from the teeth, which are arranged in a pavement-like pattern.

This species has also been called 'Sweet William'. Whitley (1940) stated that "The name "Sweet William", sometimes applied to the Gummy Shark, has been borrowed from a sobriquet for an English shark, the Tope, of which Pennant wrote, many years ago:- "It's skin and flesh has an offensive rank smell; therefore we suppose Mr Dale gave it ironically the title of Sweet William".

Size range

The species grows to a length of 1.75 m.

Distribution

In Australia the species occurs in temperate waters from northern New South Wales to south-western Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Mustelus antarcticus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Gummy Shark specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Feeding and Diet

The Gummy Shark's diet includes mostly cephalopods and crustaceans, and occasionally bony fishes.

Classification

Species:
antarcticus
Genus:
Mustelus
Family:
Triakidae
Order:
Carcharhiniformes
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens, 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO Australia. Pp. 513. Pl. 1-84.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Stevens, JD in Gomon, M.F, J.C.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  6. Whitley, G.P. 1940. The fishes of Australia. Part I. The sharks, rays, devil-fish, and other primitive fishes of Australia and New Zealand. Royal Zoological Society N.S.W., Australian Zoological Handbook 1-280.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Gummy Shark, Mustelus antarcticus, Triakidae, grey, white underside, > 1m, Australian Smooth Hound, Flake, Smooth Dog-shark, Sweet William, White-spotted Gummy Shark, pavement-like teeth pattern, temperate water, marine, adult,