Newly discovered shark in Papua New Guinea

The Papuan lanternshark (Etmopterus samadiae) is a shark belonging to the family Etmopteridae. It was recently discovered and classified in 2017 by White, Ebert, Mana & Corrigan. Their original description is below.


Family: Etmopteridae – Lantern Sharks

Genus: Etmopterus 

Species: samadiae


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Etmopteridae

Common NameLantern Sharks




Average Size and Length: The maximum recorded length of a male is 26.5 cm/10.4 inches and 27.7 cm/10.9 inches for a female.

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: The two males discovered were mature, and the female discovered was found to be pregnant.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth in the upper and lower jaws differ. The upper teeth are multicuspid in three functional series. The functional teeth in the lower jaw are unicuspid in single series. The multicuspid upper teeth small, upright, with strong central cusp flanked by 2 or 3 lateral cusplets on each side, decreasing in size distally. The teeth in the lower jaw are fused into a single row with blade-like, oblique cusps. The tooth count in the first row in the upper jaw is 33 (27–28) and in first row in the lower jaw is 35 (28–31).

Denticles: The denticles are linear.

Tail: The Papuan lanternshark can be distinguished from its closest family members by the long caudal base marking.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Papuan lanternshark can be found in the western Pacific Ocean in Papua New Guinea. They are tropical, marine bathypelagic found at a depth range of between 1,115-2,575 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The Papuan lanternshark is a small and slender shark. The Papuan lanternshark can be distinguished from its closest family members like the Shorttail lanternshark and the Blackbelly lanternshark or Lucifer shark by the length of its anterior flank markings is slightly shorter than its posterior branch. There are also irregular and variable number of black, horizontal, dash-like marks on the sides of its body. The Papuan lanternshark differs from the Shorttail lanternshark by having a shorter posterior caudal marking (2.8-4.4 vs. 4.2-6.1% TL), longer caudal base marking (10.6-14.1 vs. 7.0-7.8% TL), and flank marking with a slightly shorter posterior branch (9.1-11.2 vs. 11.4-12.6% TL). They could possibly have bioluminescent photophores.

Biology and Reproduction: The vertebrae count is 80 – 86. Their reproduction is unknown or presumably ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Papuan Lanternshark Future and Conservation: Newly discovered, not enough data to evaluate.

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

White, W.T., D.A. Ebert, R.R. Mana and S. Corrigan, 2017. “Etmopterus samadiae n. sp., a new lanternshark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae) from Papua New Guinea”. Zootaxa 4244(3):339-354.