The black dogfish is a small deep-dwelling shark with a short and heavily set body.
Both of the dorsal fins have white spines on the leading edge. The second dorsal fin is larger than the first. As its name suggests, this shark is completely black with the exception of the white dorsal spines.
The tricuspid teeth are similar in both the upper and lower jaws with the middle cusp being the longest.
This particular fish has no anal fin, grooved dorsal spines, a second dorsal fin larger than the first, rounded nose, large eyes, trident shaped teeth, a long abdomen (please formulate this sentence in such a way that the reader will know exactly what the black dogfish has and what it doesn’t have)
It has special luminescent organs scattered over its skin in order to attract prey which include pelagic crustaceans, cephalopods, jellyfish and probably bony fish.
It grows to a maximum of one metre.
It is found in the Western Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina north to Greenland and in the Eastern Atlantic from Iceland south to South Africa. It also possibly lives as far south as Florida and even in the Gulf of Mexico.
It is a common schooling shark with schools possibly segregated by sex. It lives at depths of between 180 to 1,600 m but is usually found around 300 m. In the northern part of its range it will swim closer to the surface.
This shark is ovoviviparous; the fertilized eggs develop within the uterus.