Pygmy Shark

About the Pygmy Shark

The Pygmy shark, the second smallest of all the shark species, is a sleeper shark of the Dalatiidae family, and only member of the genus Euprotomicrus.


Biology and Description:

The Pygmy shark is a small dogfish with a cigar-shaped body, a distinct collar mark around the gill region, a conical snout, large round eyes, enlarged triangular lower teeth, and equal sized gill slits. Both dorsal fins are small, and the caudal fin as a paddle-like shape with nearly symmetrical upper and lower lobes. This species is ovoviviparous with 8 pups per litter with a size at birth between 6-10 cm TL. Females reach maturity at 22-23 cm TL and males at 17-19 cm TL, making this shark one of the smallest in the world. Feeds on squid, bony fish, and crustaceans.  


The Pygmy shark is an epipelagic, mesopelagic, and bathypelagic oceanic species found from the surface to deeper than 1,500 m over oceans. It is a bioluminescent vertical migrator that ascends to or near the surface during the night, and descends into midwater and possibly to the bottom by day.


There are no apparent threats to this species, Its small size, and epipelagic/mesopelagic/bathypelagic nature preclude it from capture in most fisheries. There are no current species-specific conservation measures in place for this species.  

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Scientific Name Euprotomicrus bispinatus
OrderDog and Angelfish Sharks - Squaliformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNLeast Concern
Litter Size 8
Common Length 30.5 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range 0 - 1800 m
DistributionSoutheast Atlantic, Western Indian Ocean, Eastern Indian Ocean, Northeast Pacific, Southeast Pacific, Southwest Pacific