The Nursehound, also known as large spotted dogfish, is a benthic shark, common but not abundant in cold and warm waters. They are common inshore and offshore sharks found on the continental shelf over rough, even rocky or coralline ground, and algal-covered bottoms. Usually found at depths between 20 and 60 m, and up to 500m. A large, fairly stocky, catshark with large and small black spots and white spots covering dorsal surface. They have a robust body with a broad, rounded head and two dorsal fins placed far back. Nursehounds have nocturnal habits and generally hide inside small holes during the day. They feed mainly on crustaceans, mollusks and a large variety of fish, including smaller sharks.
They are oviparous, with a single egg per oviduct. Spawning occurs throughout the year, and they can lay around 100 eggs every year, 2 eggs each time, that hatch after 9 months of development. The babies are 16 cm in total length.
Their skin is rough, like all sharks, and was previously used as sandpaper to polish wood. The eggs lie in distinctive capsules, which are known as mermaids’ purses, and are normally found on marine coasts and rocky bays.