pygmy shark

One of the smallest shark species!

The Pygmy shark (Euprotomicrus bispinatus), one of the smallest of all the shark species.The Pygmy shark is of the Dalatiidae family (Kitefin sharks), the only member of the genus Euprotomicrus. Their lengths are between 8-9 inches for females and between 6-7.5 inches for males.


Family: Dalatiidae – Kitefin sharks

Genus: Euprotomicrus 

Species: bispinatus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Dalatiidae

Common NameKitefin Sharks




Average Size and Length: Pygmy sharks are born between 6-10 cm. Mature males are between 6.7-7.5 inches, and mature females are between 8.7-9.1 inches. The maximum recorded was 10.6 inches (female).

Teeth and Jaw: The upper and lower teeth differ. The upper teeth are longer and to appoint, the bottoms a bit hooked and triangular.

Head: The Pygmy shark has a bulbous snout with large eyes.

Tail: The caudal fin is paddle like in shape, and just about symmetrical. There are low lateral keels on the caudal peduncle.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: Pygmy sharks are oceanic and amphitemperate. They are found in the south Atlantic, the south Indian, and the Pacific Oceans. Pygmy sharks are epipelagic, mesopelagic, and possibly bathypelagic in mid-ocean to bottom at depths between 6,000 and 32,605 feet. Pygmy sharks migrate from the surface at night to depths greater than 4,921 feet by day. This is at least mid-water and maybe to the bottom. Perhaps their glowing pouch stores this energy by day, and emits it at night in deeper depths used for counter illumination?

Diet: The Pygmy shark eats deepwater squid, bony fishes, and even some crustaceans. However, the prey is small, not large at all given the size of the Pygmy shark.

Aesthetic Identification: The Pygmy shark is extremely tiny, with a cylindrical shaped body. It is black in color. Its fins have light edges. The gill slits are tiny. The first dorsal fin is tiny and flag like. It is a quarter-length of the second dorsal fin, and is well behind the pectoral fins. Like the Taillight shark, the Pygmy shark has a luminous organ on the underside of its body.

Biology and Reproduction: Pygmy sharks are ovoviviparous and produce about eight pups per litter.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Pygmy Shark Future and Conservation: They are of least concern; however, they aren’t evaluated greatly.

Pygmy Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.