Echinorhinus brucus   (Bonnaterre,  1788) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Elasmobranchii

Image copyrights: Khan, M.M.

Size: 310 cm TL (male)

Color: Dorsal surface dark purplish-grey to brown with white denticles, ventral surface paler; sides and back may have dark spots.

It has thorn-like denticles on body which are very large (single denticles up to about 15 mm in basal diameter in adults), sparse irregularly distributed and thorn-like with smooth basal margins, some bases fused into compound plates. Tooth count 20-26/21-26. As with the other members of the family Echinorhinidae, it has a relatively short snout and stout body; two small spineless dorsal fins, close together, towards posterior part of body and originating behind pelvic fin origin. No anal fin and subterminal notch on caudal fin. Small spiracles, very short labial furrows and teeth on both jaws alike, with a central oblique blade-like cusps with up to 3 cusplets on each side (absent in juveniles). Dorsal spines (total): 0; Anal spines: 0.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, internal live bearers. Ovoviviparous. 15 to 26 young in a litter. Size at birth between 29 and 90 cm. Distinct pairing with embrace. Size at maturity unknown but adult males of 150 cm and adult females of 213 cm have been reported.

Synonym (s)
Echinorhinus brucus Silas, Selvaraj and Regunathan, 1969
Echinorhinus mccoyi Whitley, 1931
(Junior synonym)
Echinorhinus obesus Smith, 1838
(Junior synonym)
Echinorhinus spinosus (Gmelin, 1789)
(Junior synonym)
Squalus brucus Bonnaterre, 1788
(Senior synonym)
Squalus spinosus Gmelin, 1789
(Junior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Bramble Shark (English)
• Spinous Shark (English)
• Mullan Sravu (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, gamefish. Used for fishmeal and liver oil, flesh used for medicinal purposes.)

Habitat:  Demersal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Deep sea fishes, catfishes, lizard fishes, smaller sharks, bony fishes, and crabs
IUCN Status:  Data Deficient


• Kerala, Kochi INDIA (Record: 2000-2002)
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Southwest Coast INDIA
• Off South West Coast INDIA (Record: 01/1962-12/1968) (Depth: 180-450 mts)
• Kerala, Kochi Fisheries Harbour INDIA (Record: 01/2008-06/2009) (Depth: 10-900 mts)

Literature Source(s)
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds) (1991) Animal resources of India (Protozoa to Mammalia) ZSI 1-694 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Joshi, KK; Balachandran, K and Raje, SG (2008) Changes in the shark fishery at Cochin Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 50(1) 103-105 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Hanfee, F (1999) Management of shark fisheries in two Indian coastal states: Tamil Nadu and Kerala Case studies of the management of elasmobranch fisheries. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 378 Rome, FAO Part 1 (11) Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 5 Available at -
  • Raje, SG; Sivakami, S; Mohanraj, G; Manoj Kumar, PP; Raju, A and Joshi, KK (2007) An atlas on the Elasmobranch fishery resources of India CMFRI Special publication CMFRI, Cochin, India. 95 253pp Available at -
  • Silas, EG (1969) Part-1 Exploratory otter trawling surveys by R.V. Varuna and other vessels operating in association with her from the continental shelf edge and the upper continental slope off the south-west coast of India Exploratory fishing by R.V. Varuna Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 12 7-51 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Akhilesh, KV; Ganga, U; Pillai, NGK; Vivekanandan, E; Bineesh, KK; Shanis, CPR and Hashim, M (2011) Deep-sea fishing for chondrichthyan resources and sustainability concerns-a case study from southwest coast of India Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences NISCAIR 40(3) 347-355 Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-02-17

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