Bristled Lanternshark

About the Bristled Lanternshark

Brown lanternsharks can be found in the Western Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan to New Zealand at depths from 402 to 1,380 m. But they frequently swim at 900 m below the surface of the water.  

Biology and Behaviour

Brown lanternsharks are dark grey or brown in colour and have a stout body with a moderately long tail. They have about 28 rows of teeth in their upper jaw and 34 rows of teeth in their lower jaw. They have five pairs of gill slits which are relatively large.

Their dermal denticles are tiny and densely placed with no pattern. Each denticle has four corners with narrow and slightly curved points. A female’s denticle is firmly attached while a male’s can be easily removed. Brown lanternsharks have a horizontal black line on the base of the tail and a light black mark on their pelvic fins.

The maximum length for a male is 64 cm while a female grows a bit longer to a maximum of 75 cm.

Brown lanternsharks mainly feed on bony fish, cephalopods like squid and crustaceans such as shrimp.

Reproduction and Lifespan

They are ovoviviparous where the females carry the eggs within them until the young sharks are ready to hatch. Female brown lanternsharks give birth between nine to 18 pups. The size at birth of brown lanternsharks are about 17 cm long.

Conservation and Tourism

The IUCN lists Brown lanternsharks as data deficient, and there are no conservation measures for these sharks. However, there are restrictions in southern Australia on bottom trawling below 700 m and quotas on deepwater dogfishes.

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Scientific NameEtmopterus unicolor
OrderDog and Angelfish Sharks - Squaliformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNData Deficient
Litter Size18
SpeciesEtmopterus unicolor
Common Length75 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range402 - 1380 m
DistributionWestern Central Pacific
EnvironmentDemersal, Marine