Home|Search|Identify|Taxonomic tree|Quiz|About this site|Feedback
Developed by ETI BioInformatics
Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
Synonyms and common names
Literature references
Images, audio and video
Links to other Web sites

Author: Jordan and Snyder, 1902

Field Marks:
Two spined dorsal fins, no anal fin, bladelike unicuspidate teeth in lower jaw and teeth with cusps and cusplets in upper jaw, stocky body, long tail, short interdorsal space, longitudinal rows of denticles on body, very large second dorsal fin, prominent black markings on underside of body and sides of tail.

Diagnostic Features:
A fairly stout-bodied lanternshark with a moderately long tail, distance from pelvic insertions to ventral caudal origin about as long as from tip of snout to first gill openings, slightly less than 1.5 times in distance between pectoral and pelvic bases, and slightly less than interdorsal space; distance between pectoral and pelvic bases moderately long in adults, about equal to head lenqth: distance from snout tip to first dorsal spine about equal to distance from first dorsal spine to second dorsal rear tip. Head width about equal to preoral snout; prespiracular length about 1.8 times distance from spiracles to pectoral origins; gill openings moderately long, considerably wider than spiracle, 1/3 eye length or less; upper teeth generally with less than 3 pairs of cusplets. Origin of first dorsal fin slightly behind free rear tips of pectoral fins, first dorsalbase considerably closer to pectoral bases than pelvics; interdorsal space short, about as long as head; second dorsal fin much larger than first and over twice its area; distance between second dorsal base and upper caudal origin about 1.5 in interdorsal space; caudal fin moderately long, length of dorsal caudal margin slightly less than head length. Lateral trunk denticles with slender, hooked conical crowns, arranged in regular longitudinal rows on entire dorsolateral surface from snout tip to sides of caudal fin, giving shark and engraved appearance; snout partially naked on anterolateral surfaces; no rows of greatly enlarged denticles on flanks above pectoral fins. Distal margins of fins largely naked but not highly fringed with naked ceratotrichia. Colour brown above, with underside of snout and abdomen abruptly black, with an elongated narrow black mark running above, ahead and behind pelvic fins, and other elongated black marks at caudal fin tase and along its axis.

Geographical Distribution:
Western South Atlantic: Uruguay, Argentina. Eastern South Atlantic: ? Namibia. Western Indian Ocean: Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, to Mozambique and Tanzania. Western Pacific: Japan (southeastern Honshu), Yellow Sea, to Taiwan Island, South China Sea, Bali (Indonesia), ? Philippines, Australia (New South Wales, South and Western Australia), New Caledonia, New Zealand.

Habitat and Biology:
Awide-ranging lanternshark, found on the outer continental and insular shelves and upper slopes on or near the bottom, at depths of 183 to 823 m. Off Natal, South Africa, adult males are much more numerous than females. Development presumably ovoviviparous. Eats mostly squid and small bony fishes, including lanternfish, and also shrimp.

Maximum total length about 42 cm; males adult at 29 to 42- cm; females adult at 34 cm or more.

Interest to Fisheries:
Unknown at present.

The illustration is based on the holotype. It is uncertain if all records of E. lucifer are based on this species or include records of E. brachyurus.

Type material:
Holotype: Stanford University Natural History Museum, SU-6863, 282 mm adult male. Type Locality: Off Misaki, Japan.

Blackbelly lanternshark (Etmopterus lucifer)