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Author: Schroeder and Springer, 1953

Diagnostic Features:
A moderately stout-bodied lanternshark with a fairly long tail, distance from pelvic insertions to ventral caudal origin about as long as from tip of snout to first gill openings, about equal to distance between pectoral and pelvic bases, and 1.3 times interdorsal space; distance between pectoral and pelvic bases moderately long in adults, slightly less than head length; distance from snout tip to first dorsal spine equal or somewhat greater than distance from first dorsal spine to second dorsal rear tip. Head width about equal to preoral snout; prespiracular length slightly greater than distance from spiracles to pectoral origins; gill openings short, slightly wider than spiracle, 1/3 eye length or less; upper teeth generally with less than 3 pairs of cusplets. Origin of first dorsal fin opposite free rear tips of pectoral fins, dorsal fin base much closer to pectoral bases than pelvics; interdorsal space short, about as lono as distance from snout tin to spiracles: second dorsal fin about as large or slightly larger than first; distance between second dorsal base and upper caudal origin about equal to interdorsal space; caudal fin moderately long, length of dorsal caudal margin about equal to head length. Lateral trunk denticles with slender, hooked conical crowns, wide-spaced but not arranged in regular longitudinal rows; snout largely covered with denticles; no rows of greatly enlarged denticles on flanks above pectoral fins. Distal margins of fins largely covered with skin, not fringed with naked ceratotrichia. Colour dark grey above, with underside of snout and abdomen blackish, with an elongated broad black mark running above, ahead and behind pelvic fins, and other elongated black marks at caudal fin base and along its axis.

Geographical Distribution:
Eastern Atlantic: Guinea to Ivory Coast, Nigeria to Angola. ? Western Central Atlantic: Venezuela.

Habitat and Biology:
A lanternshark of the upper continental slopes, on or near bottom at depths of 300 to 1000 m.

Maximum total length about 24 cm; adult males to 23 cm, females to 24 cm. Reports of this species from 30 to 80 cm unverified and possibly based in part on other species of Etmopterus.

Interest to Fisheries:
In the eastern Atlantic this species (and possibly others reported under its name) are captured offshore in bottom trawls, fixed bottom nets and on hook-and-line gear, and utilized dried salted for human consumption and for fishmeal.

Type material:
Holotype: Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, MCZ 38001, adult or adolescent male, 197 mm. Type Locality: Northern Angola, 6°08'5,11°24'E, 350 to 380 m depth.

African lanternshark (Etmopterus polli)