• Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Superclass: Gnathostomata
  • Class: Elasmobranchii
  • Infraclass: Selachii
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Family: Pentanchidae
  • Scientific name: Galeus melastomus
  • Norwegian: hågjel


It is also called blackmouth catshark. As the names suggest, the inside of the mouth is dark, almost black. The females may grow to a length of 90 cm, the males a little more than 60 cm. The body is decorated by a series of dark-brown blotches along the sides. The nose is pointed and somewhat flattened.


The black-mouthed dogfish is a deep water shark, usually found deeper than 100 meters, but during dark winter nights it sometimes emerges close to the surface. Scuba divers along the coast of Norway have seen it at 10 meters depth. It seems to prefer to stay on or near muddy slopes. It feeds on fish, mollusks and crustaceans.


It is well known in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Senegal to Norway and the Faroes, including the Azores, Brithish Isles, the Mediterranean and Adriatic Oceans.