For those of you who have been to this page before we are now working hard at providing a more comprehensive identification page for all (well most of) of our Domestic Shark species. Where possible we intend to provide you with generic line drawings and also as many photographs as possible. Hopefully we will be able to catch most of the species ourselves over the years!

As we will be referring to different parts of a shark, when giving their descriptions, to start off we have included a drawing (please excuse this we will improve with practice), of a Blue Shark which shows all the different parts we will be referring to - as far as possible. We have tried deliberately not to be too technical with our descriptions.

Our generic shark

© S&J Drake 1998

TOPEGaleorhinus galeus

Upper body grey to brown, underside white, has a translucent snout.
Note the translucent snout, and the nictitating membrame covering the eye

Tope Page


Upper body surface varies from blue through to dark grey whilst the underside is usually white. The Porbeagle has a secondary longtitudial keel on either side of the tail which the Mako Shark does not. Also the dorsal fin as a white banding along the back edge, which again a Mako Shark does not have.
reproduced by the kind permission of ICI

Porbeagle Page

THRESHER SHARKAlopias vulpinus

Upper body dark brown to grey with paler to white underside. The elongated tail is equivalent in length to the main body of the shark

© S&J Drake 1998

Thresher Page

LESSER SPOTTED CATSHARK formerly known as LESSER SPOTTED DOGFISHSycliorhinus canicula

Upper side of the body usually light brown covered with darker spots, although some sharks will be darker and occasionally show quite defined saddle markings. May occasionally have a smattering of white spots.

These are some of our favourite shark species - this time two to a hook!

© S&J Drake 1998

Lesser Spotted Catshark Page

SHORT FIN MAKO SHARKIsurus oxyrinchus

Upper Body surface cobalt blue with a white underside. Has single longitudinal keel on the side of the tail root.
© Capt. T King

Mako Page

SPURDOG Sometimes referred to as Piked Dogfish Squalus acanthias

The upper body is dark grey or black and white spots are usually present. The underside is white and there are spines in front of both dorsal fins
Here we have Jeri holding a nice Spurdog caught off Southern Ireland

© S&J Drake 1998

Spurdog Page


Upper side of the body grey or brown and the underside lighter than the upper side. There are six gill slits rather than the normal 5 as found in other shark species - hence the name

Blunt Nose Six Gill Page

COMMON SMOOTH HOUNDMustelus mustelus

Upper body grey to pale brown, going to off white on the underside. There are no white spots above the lateral line.

Common Smooth Hound Page


The upper and underside of the body is pale or dark brown and appears to be mottled, and is covered with a series of small and large black (sometimes white) spots and the underside tends to be paler in colour

These pictures show the saddle markings of the Greater Spotted Catshark and also the nasal flaps which are distinctly different from those of the Lesser Spotter Catshark

© S&J Drake 1998

Bull Huss Page

BLUE SHARKPrionace glauca

© S&J Drake 1998

Upper body is cobalt blue with a white belly. The characteristic of this shark is the long pectoral fins which allows the Blue Shark to glide along the ocean currents.

Blue Shark Page

BLACKMOUTH CATSHARKformerly known as BLACKMOUTH DOGFISHGaleus melastomus

© D Holt 1998

The inside of the mouth is black, which is the distinguishing feature between this species and the Bull HussSycliorhinus stellaris and Lesser Spotted CatsharkSycliorhinus canicula. The upper and lower sides of the body are grey to dark brown and support a series of well defined saddle blotches and circular spots. These patches vary in number with age and juveniles tend to have less than mature fish.

Blackmouth Page

STARRY SMOOTH HOUNDMustelus asterias

Upper body pale brown to grey with numerous white spots above the lateral line which is the distinguishing feature from the Common Smooth Hound which has no spots.

© S&J Drake 1998

And to show you that they have to grow up - a small one we caught - he was about 14" long!

© S&J Drake 1998

Starry Smooth Hound Page

ANGEL SHARKSqantina squatina

This is a compressed body shark, with the upper sides a light sandy brown and the under side usually white

Angel Shark Page

HAMMERHEAD SHARK (Smooth Hammerhead) Sphyrna zygaena

A distinctive shark in the fact that the head has two lateral lobes which give it the distinct hammer shape and hence the name. Coloration upper side of the body brown to grey and the underside paler in colour.

Hammerhead Page

To Angling Method for Shark Species