Another small shark of the Caribbean

The West Indian lanternshark (Etmopterus robinsi) is a shark belonging to the family Etmopteridae found in the western Atlantic and Caribbean.


Family: Etmopteridae – Lantern Sharks

Genus: Etmopterus 

Species: robinsi


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameDogfish Sharks

Family– Etmopteridae

Common NameLantern Sharks




Average Size and Length: Males have been recorded at 26 cm/10.2 inches with a maximum at 31 cm/12.2 inches. Females have been recorded at 34 cm/13.4 inches.

Teeth and Jaw: The upper teeth generally have less than 3 pairs of cusplets.

Denticles: The lateral dermal denticles have slender, hooked conical crowns. They are wide-spaced and not in regular rows. The dermal denticles largely cover the snout.

Tail: They have a somewhat long tail.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The West Indian Lanternshark can be found in the west Atlantic in the Caribbean. They can be found on sandy bottoms, over continental and insular slopes between 1,352-2,582 feet, but mostly deeper than 1,801 feet.

Aesthetic Identification: The West Indian lanternshark is stout in shape. They are grey or dark brown in color. The gill slits are about 1/3 the eye length. The second dorsal fin is much larger, but less than twice the area of the first. The ventral side of the snout and abdomen are visibly dark, with an elongated broad black mark that runs above and behind the pelvic fins. There are other marks at the base and along the axis of the tail.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown, but presumably ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

West Indian Lanternshark Future and Conservation: They are of least concern and at the moment aren’t evaluated.

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