Smooth Lanternshark

About the Smooth Lanternshark

The smooth lanternshark is a species of lantern shark found in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans at depths of up to 1070 m. Like all members of the lantern shark family they’re small, with a maximum length of 50 cm, they live in deep water, and have light-producing photophores on their body. These photophores are just bright enough to mask their silhouette and make them look invisible from below. This allows them to sneak up on prey.

Smooth lanternsharks are ovoviviparous. The embryos develop in eggs inside of the mother until they’re ready to hatch. Litter size ranges from 8 to 18 eggs. Pups are born about 13 cm long, become mature at 40 cm, and grow to a maximum length of 50 cm. Their diet consists of small fishes, squid, and fish eggs.

Their name comes from their denticles, which are widely separated and gives them a smooth appearance. They’re very similar, although smaller, to the blurred lanternshark.

They’re caught as by-catch by deep water fisheries, but have little commercial value. Their found around the world and live at depths inaccessible to most fisheries. Their conservation status is currently Least Concern, but the expanding deep water fisheries must be monitored.

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Scientific Name Etmopterus pusillus
OrderDog and Angelfish Sharks - Squaliformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNLeast Concern
Litter Size Unknown
Common Length 50.0 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range 150 - 1070 m
DistributionEastern Central Atlantic, Southeast Atlantic, Western Central Atlantic, Northeast Atlantic, Western Indian Ocean, Eastern Indian Ocean, Southwest Pacific, Northwest Pacific, Eastern Central Pacific