Long-nose Pygmy Shark

About the Long-nose Pygmy Shark

The Long-nose Pygmy shark is a rare species of dogfish in the family Dalatiidae and the only member of its genus Heteroscymnoides.

Biology and Description:

The Long-nose Pygmy shark has a slender and moderately compressed from side to side. The long, bulbous snout comprises about half the head length and comes to a blunt, conical tip. The eyes are large, lacks nictitating membranes, and are followed by large spiracles. The nostrils are long and angled, with very short flaps of skin on their anterior rims. There are 22 tooth rows in the upper jaw and 23 tooth rows in the lower jaw and are much larger, broader, and knife-like to form a continuous cutting surface. The two dorsal fins lack spines. The pectoral fins are short and somewhat paddle-like. There is no anal fin, and the caudal fin is broad, with a well developed lower lobe and a deep ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. Males and females attain sexual maturity at about 36 and 33 cm TL, respectively. This species reaches a maximum size of 37 cm TL and is presumably aplacental viviparous with a small litter size, reaching a size at birth of 13 cm TL. It probably feeds on pelagic fishes and invertebrates.


The Long-nose Pygmy shark is possibly circumglobal species. Oceanic, pelagic at depths of 45 to 502 m or over 830 to 4,000 m. Occurs in the western Indian Ocean off eastern KwaZulu-Natal, in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean near the Walvis Ridge, and in the southwestern Pacific Ocean off Chile.


No current conservation actions are in place. Like many deeper water species, more information on biology, ecology, and importance in fisheries are required to further assess its status and any future conservation needs.


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Scientific Name Heteroscymnoides marleyi
OrderDog and Angelfish Sharks - Squaliformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNLeast Concern
Litter Size Unknown
Common Length 29.0 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range 0 - 502 m
DistributionSoutheast Atlantic, Western Indian Ocean, Southwest Pacific