Swell Shark

Cat Sharks: Family Scyliorhinidae Species:Cephaloscyllium ventriosum(Garman, 1880); from the Greek words cephalo  (with a head) and scyllium  (like a dog or monster) and the Latin ventr  (referring to the belly). Alternate Names: Catshark, puffer shark and balloon shark. Called bocaccio (bigmouth) shark by commercial fishermen…

Pacific Angel Shark

Pacific Angel Sharks: Family Squatinidae Species: Squatina californica (Ayres, 1859); from the Latin squatina (an ancient name for a related Mediterranean species) and californica (describing where the fish was first caught). Alternate Names: Angel shark, monkfish, squat and squato. Called angelote or tiburón angel in Mexico.…

Spiny Dogfish

Dogfish Sharks: Family Squalidae Species: Squalus acanthias (Linnaeus, 1758); from the Latin word squalus (shark) and the Greek word akanthias (spines), or Squalus suckleyi; from the Latin word squalus (shark) and suckleyi honoring George Suckley (1830-1869), a naturalist and Civil War surgeon. Pick A or…

Soupfin Shark

Smoothhounds: Family Triakididae Species: Galeorhinus zyopterus (Linnaeus, 1758); from the Greek words galeos (a kind of shark), rhinos (nose or snout), zuon, (animal) and pteron (fin-large pectoral fin). Alternate Names: Tope, oil shark, vitamin shark, snapper shark. Called tiburón aceitoso in Mexico. Identification: They have…

Shortfin Mako Shark

Species: Isurus oxyrinchus (Rafinesque, 1810); from the Greek word isurus (equal and tail) and the Greek word oxyinchus (sharp snout). Alternate Names: Mako is the work used by the Maori in New Zealand to describe sharks, but this is another shark with many names. In…

Great White Shark

Species: Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758); from the Greek carcharodon (rough and tooth), and carcharias (the ancient Greek name for the species). Alternate Names: It has many names throughout the world. Most common are great white and man-eater. Others include great white death, white pointer, Mango-ururoa…

Leopard Shark

 Smoothhounds: Family Triakididae Species: Triakis semifasciata from the Greek word tria (meaning the number three, like a triad) and Latin cis (meaning on the side), and the Latin fasciata (bundled) referring to the stripes. Alternate Names: Cat shark. Identification: Dark gray body with black bars…

Common Thresher Shark

Thresher taken at the Goleta Pier by Big Red Thresher Sharks: Family Alopiidae Species: Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre, 1788); from the Greek word alopos and Latin word vulpes, (both meaning fox). Alternate Names: Thresher, blue thresher, longtail shark, swiveltail, fox shark, sea fox, fish shark, sea…

Sevengill Shark

Cow Sharks: Family Hexanchidae Species: Notorynchus cepedianus (Perón, 1807); from the Greek roots noto (back) and r(h)ynchos (snout); and the Latin cepidianus (spotted). Small sevengill from the Berkeley Pier Alternate Names: Broadnose sevengill shark, cow shark, spotted cow shark, mud shark, bluntnose shark, broad-snout, sevengill,…

Brown Smoothhound Shark

Smoothhounds: Family Triakididae Species: Mustelus henlei (Gill, 1863); from the Latin word mustelus (weasel colored) and henlei (referring to Professor J. Henle, a 19th Century biologist). Class Chondrichthyes, Subclass Elasmobranchii, Superorder Galea, Order Carcharhiniformes, Family Triakidae—Hound sharks. Alternate Names: Sand shark, mud shark, paloma, dogfish…