Larger Lanternshark with lines of hooked dermal denticles running in the rear of the shark and unique differentiated teeth in both jaws

The Giant lanternshark or sometimes called the New Zealand lanternshark (Etmopterus baxteri) is a shark of the family Etmopteridae found off of southern Australia, New Zealand and Southern Africa. Some taxonomic authorities consider it to be conspecific with the Southern Lanternshark- Etmopterus granulosus and the Tasmanian Lanternshark- Etmopterus tasmaniensis.


Family: Etmopteridae – Lantern Sharks

Genus: Etmopterus 

Species: baxteri


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Etmopteridae

Common NameLantern Sharks




Average Size and Length: They are born around 20 cm/8 in. Mature males are anywhere between 1.8-2 feet and mature females between 2-2.3 feet. The maximum recorded has been 2.9 feet.

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: Sometimes referred to as the New Zealand lanternshark. This species has been commonly misidentified with two other species, one being almost identical: Southern Lanternshark- Etmopterus granulosus and Tasmanian Lanternshark- Etmopterus tasmaniensis

Teeth and Jaw: There are pointed multicusped upper teeth, and knifelike single-cusped lower teeth.

Head: The snout is short and thick. There are dusky marks under the snout, and a triangular white blotch on the top of the head.

Denticles: The skin of the Giant Lanternshark is rough. There are conspicuous lines of hooked dermal denticles on the rear of the body and the caudal fin.

Tail: There is a black mark on the caudal fin base and axis. The tail is short and broad.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Giant lanternshark can be found in southern Australia, New Zealand, and Southern Africa. They are possibly found over island systems. They are found over seamounts and submarine ridges in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. They are found on the upper insular slopes on or near the bottom between 820-4,921 feet and possibly deeper.

Aesthetic Identification: The Giant Lanternshark is large and stout. It is uniformly dark brown to blackish. There are vague dusky markings on the underside of the snout and the abdomen and above and behind the pelvic fins. There is a black mark at the caudal fin base and along its axis. There is an inconspicuous triangular white blotch on the top of the head. There are two widely separated dorsal fins with spines. The second fin is about twice the area of the first dorsal fin. The second dorsal fin spine is strongly curved to the rear.

Biology and Reproduction: They are ovoviviparous having 6-16 pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Giant Lanternshark Future and Conservation: They aren’t evaluated, and in most places considered least concern because they are fairly common. They are a bycatch of fisheries.

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