Etmopterus gracilispinis

Common Name

Broadband Lanternshark

Year Described

Krefft, 1968


This lanternshark is fairly stout with a fairly long snout (longer than mouth width but slightly shorter than the distance from mouth to pectoral origin). Body tapering into slender caudal peduncle. Anterior nasal flap is short. There are two dorsal fins, the second being much larger than the first. Distance between them is less than the snout-gill distance. Both have a spine on the anterior margin. First dorsal originates posterior to rear margin of pectoral fin, about equidistant from pectoral and pelvic base. Pectoral fin is broadly rounded and small. Anal fin is absent. Pelvic fins originate anterior to the second dorsal. Caudal fin is fairly short (about equal to head length). Rear margins of fins lack fringes with the exception of pectoral fin. Pectoral fringe is mostly connected with fin web. Teeth in lower jaw are broader than the upper jaw. Upper jaw teeth are narrow with median cusps and 2 pairs of lateral cusplets. The lower jaw teeth are bandlike, with low, oblique cusps and lateral blades. Upper jaw: 27 teeth; lower jaw: 28 teeth. Very short gill slits. Denticles are randomly spaced with thin, needle-like crowns. Denticles present on snout.


Dark brown to blackish-brown with a black belly. Obscure black markings around pelvic fin base and around caudal fin base. Pale spot on top of head.


Mature adults from 26 cm. (males) to 33 cm. (females).


Over outer continental shelves and upper slopes from 100-1000 m. Usually benthic but also occasionally epipelagic from 70-490 m.


Widespread in the western Atlantic from New England to northeastern Florida, and the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Also in the S. Caribbean Sea off Suriname and in the southwestern Atlantic from S. Brazil to Argentina.


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

Compagno, L., M. Dando, and S. Fowler. 2005. Sharks of the World. Princeton University Press, 480 pp.