Slender Lanternshark, Etmopterus pusillus (Lowe 1839)

Other Names: Slender Lantern Shark, Smooth Lanternshark

A Slender Lanternshark, Etmopterus pusillus, Deep-sea Lebanon Expedition. October 2016.. Source: Oceana Europe, Deep-sea Lebanon Expedition, October 2016 / Flickr . License: All rights reserved


A deepwater bioluminescent shark found in the oceanic midwaters. Identifying features:

  • Each dorsal fin with a long stout spine
  • Dark markings on lower sides, belly and lower part of caudal fin (photophores)
  • Body covered in minute low denticles
  • Fins mostly pale
  • Distance from snout to first gill slit shorter than distance from first gill slit to first dorsal-fin origin.

  • Cite this page as:
    Dianne J. Bray, Etmopterus pusillus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Sep 2023,

    Slender Lanternshark, Etmopterus pusillus (Lowe 1839)

    More Info


    Found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide.


    Multicuspid teeth in upper jaw; blade-like slicing teeth in lower jaw.


    Carnivore - feeds on squid and fishes.


    Very little is known of the biology of this species.


    Although of no interest to fisheries, the species is taken as bycatch in commercial trawl and gill net fisheries.

    Species Citation

    Acanthidium pusillus Lowe, 1839, Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond. 3: 19.Type locality: Madeira, eastern Atlantic.


    Dianne J. Bray

    Slender Lanternshark, Etmopterus pusillus (Lowe 1839)


    Coelho, R., Tanaka, S. & Compagno, L.J.V. 2009. Etmopterus pusillus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <>. Downloaded on 15 May 2012.

    Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(1) pp. 1-249.

    Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp.

    G√ľnther, A. 1870. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Physostomi, containing the families Gymnotidae, Symbranchidae, Muraenidae, Pegasidae, and of the Lophobranchii, Plectognathi, Dipnoi, [thru] Leptocardii, in the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 8 549 pp.

    Jordan, D.S. & Evermann, B.W. 1896. The fishes of North and middle America: a descriptive catalogue of the species of fish-like vertebrates found in the waters of North America, north of the Isthmus of Panama. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 47(1): 1-1240

    Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls.

    Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

    Lowe, R.T. 1839. A supplement to a synopsis of the fishes of Madeira. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 3: 1-20

    Shirai, S. & Tachikawa, H. 1993. Taxonomic resolution of the Etmopterus pusillus species group (Elasmobranchii, Etmopteridae), with description of E. bigelowi, n.sp. Copeia 1993(2): 483-495.

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37020015

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:275-1120 m

    Habitat:Mesopelagic, benthopelagic

    Max Size:50 cm TL

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    CAAB distribution map