Barbeled Houndshark

The barbeled houndshark is a ground shark living in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Barbeled Houndshark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Carcharhiniformes
Family Leptochariidae
Genus Leptocharias
Scientific Name L. smithii


On average, males reach 30 inches in length, while females are a bit longer at 32 inches. Their bodies are slender, and they have oval eyes. Inside their long, arched mouths, one can observe 46-60 rows of teeth in their upper jaw and 43–54 in their lower jaw. The front teeth of the males are enlarged, making it easy to tell the two sexes apart.

They are plain gray dorsally and white ventrally.

Where do they live

Map Of The Barbeled Houndshark’s Habitat

Barbeled Houndshark Habitat Map

These sharks are found off the western coast of Africa from Mauritania to northern Angola, though there have been reports of this shark appearing as far north as the Mediterranean Sea.

Barbeled sharks live in shallow coastal waters about 33-246 ft deep and are found close to muddy bottoms close to river mouths.



This shark is a voracious feeder with a diet consisting of bony fishes, crustaceans, flying fish and skate eggs, octopi, and sponges. Even stuff like feathers, flowers, and vegetable scraps have been discovered inside the shark’s stomachs.


Barbeled sharks are viviparous, giving live birth to a litter of about seven pups. After gestating for four months, the newborn sharks are 7.9 inches long. Sexual maturity is observed in males when they are 22–24 inches and in females when they are 20–23 inches long.

Interactions with humans

As the barbeled shark is often the target of fishing in its range, the IUCN classified it as “Vulnerable” or “VU”. Its meat is sold fresh, smoked, or salted, and its skin is sold as leather.

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