Smooth Lanternshark, Etmopterus bigelowi Shirai & Tachikawa 1993

Other Names: Blurred Lantern Shark, Blurred Smooth Lantern Shark, Slender Lanternshark, Smooth Lantern Shark

Blackbelly Lanternshark, Etmopterus bigelowi. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A uniform greyish to dusky-brown lanternshark with a darker belly, a bright metallic green lateral stripe, dark fins anteriorly with a pale margin, and a broad black tip on the upper lobe of the caudal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Etmopterus bigelowi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Smooth Lanternshark, Etmopterus bigelowi Shirai & Tachikawa 1993

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Off Bunbury to north-west of Port Hedland, Western Australia, and Taupo Seamount east of Newcastle, New South Wales, to off Maria Island, Tasmania. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in tropical and temperate waters on the continental slope.


Head relatively long, distance from snout tip to first gill slit greater than distance from first gill slit to dorsal fin origin; distance from pelvic fin insertion to lower lobe of caudal fin shorter than distance from snout tip to gill slit; second dorsal fin about twice the height of the first dorsal fin; second dorsal spine equal to or slightly longer than first dorsal spine.


Feeds on small sharks, lanternfishes (myctophids) and squids.



The species is named in honour of Henry Bigelow of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who, along with Schroeder and Springer, who included a description of this species (as Etmopterus pusillus) in Bigelow et al. (1955).

Species Citation

Etmopterus bigelowi Shirai & Tachikawa 1993, Copeia 1993(2): 487, figs 1b-d, 2b, 5b. Type locality: off Angola, 11°37´S, 5°13´W, southeastern Atlantic, depth 526 m. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Smooth Lanternshark, Etmopterus bigelowi Shirai & Tachikawa 1993


AFMA. 2015. Deepwater shark and skate identification guide for commercial fishers in southern Australia. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Commonwealth of Australia, 48 pp.

Bigelow, H.B., Schroeder, W.C. and Springer, S. 1955. Three new shark records from the Gulf of Mexico. Breviora, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard (49): 1–12. See ref at BHL

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

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. (as Etmopterus sp. A)

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

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 DOI: 10.2307/1447149

White, W. 2008. Shark Families Heterodontidae to Pristiophoridae. pp. 32-100 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37020027


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:435-1440 m

Habitat:Bentho & mesopelagic

Max Size:67 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map