Angelshark – Squatina squatina

The Angelshark, also known as the Monkfish, is a species in the family of Squatinidae and thus belongs to the subclass of the Elasmobranchii.

Angelshark angel shark Squatina squatina Elasmobranchii rays and sharks diving canary islands atlantic ocean canaries
Angelshark – Squatina squatina


Squatina squatina has a flat, elongated body. Behind his head, he becomes slightly wider and runs thinner towards the tail. It is sand-coloured, beige with dark spots and bright lines. It reaches a maximum size of 240cm in length.

Habitat and Distribution

The Angelshark prefers to live near the coast, on a sandy bottom, down to a depth of 150m. When diving in the Canaries, one sees it mainly around the central and eastern islands, more rarely around the western.
It also had a distribution area from Scandinavia to Northwest Africa, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Nowadays they are very rare apart from the Canary Islands.


Squatina squatina lives solitary and close to the ground. They are lurkers. Lying in the sand, they wait for prey swimming by, which they then snap really fast. Their diet consists of crustaceans, invertebrates and small fish.
They are ovoviviparous and give birth to about 7 to 25 young sharks. Their gestation period is between 8 and 10 months. When the young are born they are about 30cm long.
Angelsharks are on the red list as threatened with extinction!

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