Tiny shark with flanks that appear thorny

The Thorny lanternshark (Etmopterus sentosus) is a shark belonging to the family Etmopteridae found in the western Indian Ocean between latitudes 0° and 31°S, at depths between 656 and 1,640 feet. Its length is up to 11 inches.


Family: Etmopteridae – Lantern Sharks

Genus: Etmopterus 

Species: sentosus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Etmopteridae

Common NameLantern Sharks




Average Size and Length: They are born around 6 cm. Mature males have been recorded between 22-26 cm/9-10 inches. Mature females have been recorded between 25-26 cm/10 inches. The longest recorded has been 27 cm/11 inches.

Teeth and Jaw: There are 3 or 4 pairs of cusplets on the upper teeth.

Denticles: There are 2 or 3 rows of unique, hook-like dermal denticles on the flanks, which is unique from the other sharks in its family. The other denticles are small, conical and not arranged in lines.

Tail: The tail is broad and somewhat long. The dorsal caudal margin is equal to the head length.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Thorny lanternshark can be found in the west Indian Ocean. They are common in Mozambique. They can be found near the bottom between 656-1,640 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The Thorny lanternshark is dwarf in size and is slender. It is greyish-black in color. It is inconspicuously black on the ventral side. There is an elongated, broad black mark above, in front, and behind the pelvic fins. There are others at the tail base and along the axis. The gill slits are long. The distal margins of the fins are mostly naked and more or less fringed with ceratotrichia. The second dorsal fin is over twice the area of the first dorsal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown, but presumably ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Thorny Lanternshark Future and Conservation: As of now they are of least concern and are not evaluated. They are common n their range.

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