Euprotomicrus bispinatus

Common Name

Pygmy Shark

Year Described

Quoy and Gaimard, 1824


Teeth: 19-21 upper, 19-23 lower. Upper teeth slender and erect. Lower teeth slightly larger with oblique cusps.

Body torpedo-shaped and tapering posteriorly. Head large. Snout much longer than orbit diameter. Nostrils under tip of snout. Mouth small with upper labial furrows, very long post-oral grooves, and fringed lips. Eyes large. Five gill slits short. Two dorsal fins well spaced. First dorsal fin tiny: placed well beyond midpoint of body (well behind pectoral tip and much closer to pelvic fin) and without any spine. Second dorsal fin much longer than first and lacks a spine. Pectoral fin moderate and squared off. Pelvic fin well posterior (rear of it under D2 origin) and similar in size to second dorsal. Anal fin absent. Caudal fin with a paddle-like upper lobe and and pronounced lower lobe. Skin rough. Denticles small squares with deep interspaces and small depressions in center.


Body dark brown overall with a darker belly. Ventral surface assumed to be bioluminescent. Most of fins except caudal whitish. Caudal fin brown with a pale margin. Pectoral fin with brown upper margin. Eye green.


Maximum size to 27cm TL. Matures at around 20cm TL. One of the smallest shark species.


Epipelagic. Most common from the surface to 400m. Vertically migrates. Can be taken deeper (>1000m).


Known only from the South Atlantic from the central gyre well off Brazil. Not known from the North Atlantic.


Castro, J.I. 2011. The Sharks of North America. Oxford University Press, 640 pp.