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.
Standard Common Name
Australian Smooth Hound, Flake, Smooth Dog-shark, Sweet William, White-spotted Gummy Shark
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".
The species grows to a length of 1.75 m.
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.
Distribution by collection data
Feeding and Diet
The Gummy Shark's diet includes mostly cephalopods and crustaceans, and occasionally bony fishes.
- 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.
- Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens, 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO Australia. Pp. 513. Pl. 1-84.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- 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.
- 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 , Senior Fellow
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,