Small, little-known shark right here around Florida

The Lined lanternshark Etmopterus bullisi is a shark belonging to the family Etmopteridae. There are two species of Lined lanternshark. They can be found in the northwest Atlantic down from North Carolina to Florida to Cuba to Colombia. Very little is known about this shark.


Family: Etmopteridae – Lantern Sharks

Genus: Etmopterus 

Species: bullisi


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Etmopteridae

Common NameLantern Sharks




Average Size and Length: It is born under 15 cm/ 5.9 inches long. Immature females have been recorded at 26 cm/10.2 inches. Adolescent males have been recorded at 16-26 cm. The maximum length is unknown.

Denticles: There are conspicuous longitudinal rows of dermal denticles on the head and the side of the back that extend to the caudal fin base.

Tail: The tail is long.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Lined lanternshark can be found in the northwest Atlantic from the southern USA through the Caribbean to Colombia. Some known locations are Florida, North Carolina and Cuba. They can be found over continental slopes on or near the bottom between 902-2,703 feet. They are found mostly below 1,148 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The body of the Lined lanternshark is slender. It is a soot-grey color dorsally, and black ventrally. There is a lighter band on the midline from the eye to the first dorsal fin. There is an elongated narrow black mark that runs above and behind the pelvic fins. There are more of these marks at the caudal fin base at its axis. The gill openings are short. The first dorsal origin is over the inner pectoral fin margins and the base is closer to the pectoral bases.

Biology and Reproduction: Poorly known but presumably ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Poorly known.

Lined Lanternshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated. They are probably discarded as bycatch.

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