A shark with very dense dermal denticles

The Densescale lanternshark (Etmopterus pycnolepis) is a shark belonging to the family Etmopteridae found in the southeast Pacific off Peru and Chile. Like their name, their dermal denticles are arranged in dense rows. They are often confused with several other sharks in its family.


Family: Etmopteridae – Lantern Sharks

Genus: Etmopterus 

Species: pycnolepis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Etmopteridae

Common NameLantern Sharks




Average Size and Length: It is uncertain their length at birth. The maximum recorded is between 44-45 cm/17-18 inches330.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth in the upper jaw and the lower jaw differ. The upper teeth have 1-3 pairs of cusplets.

Head: The head of the Densescale lanternshark is narrow.

Denticles: The dermal denticles are conical and hooked. They are very small and arranged in dense rows on the head, the trunk and the tail.

Tail: The tail is long and with a black tip.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Densescale lanternshark can be found in the southeastern Pacific in Nazca and Sala y Gomez Ridges off of Peru and Chile. They are found over the upper slopes on or near the bottom between 1,083-2,503 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The Densescale lanternshark is somewhat small and slender. They are plain in color. There are visible black photomarks on the flanks, the tail, and the underside of the body. The gill slits are long. The interdorsal space is long. The first dorsal fin origin is ahead of the pectoral rear tips. The second dorsal fin is larger than the first dorsal fin. The Densescale lanternshark is mistaken or misidentified with several other sharks in its family.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown but presumably ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Densescale Lanternshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated. There is not enough data to evaluate.

Densescale Lanternshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.