Euprotomicroides zantedeschia

Common Name

Taillight Shark

Year Described

Hulley and Penrith, 1966


Teeth: 29 upper, 29-34 lower. Upper teeth slender and erect. Lower teeth triangular, erect, and serrated.

Body elongate and tapering posteriorly. Body thickest at head. Head large. Snout short and blunt. Nostrils at tip of snout. Mouth as wide as head with upper labial furrows, post-oral grooves, and thick fringed lips. Eyes large. Five gill slits short. Gill slits get progressively larger rearward. Two dorsal fins well spaced. First dorsal fin rounded and placed at about midbody. Second dorsal fin a little larger than first dorsal fin with a more pointed apex. Pectoral fin moderate and squared off. Pelvic fin well posterior (right under D2 origin) and similar in size to second dorsal. Anal fin absent. Caudal fin with distinct subterminal notch and and pronounced lower lobe. A large abdominal gland present between pelvic fins that produces luminous fluid. Skin rough. Denticles tiny.


Body uniformly dark brown with a darker belly. Fin edges white. Apparently bioluminescent. Exudes blue luminescent fluid from the abdominal gland.


Adults range from 41-52cm TL, with mature females being larger.


Specimens off Uruguay taken from 195–205m but taken from 75-650m elsewhere. Appears to be epipelagic but poorly known. May have habits similar to the cookiecutter sharks.


Known from only four specimens: one from off Uruguay, South Africa, and two from Chile.


Ebert, D. A., Dando, M., & S. Fowler. 2021. Sharks of the World. Princeton University Press. 607 pp.

Stehmann, M.F.W., Van Oijen, M. & P. Kamminga. 2016. Re-description of the rare taillight shark Euprotomicroides zantedeschia (Squaliformes, Dalatiidae), based on third and fourth record from off Chile. Cybium, 40 (3): 187-197.