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Species: Isistius brasiliensis, Cookiecutter Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

nape - black collar, fin edges white
head narrow, conical
Ds at rear, close, D2 close to C
C large, lobes ~symmetrical
lower teeth - 25-31 smooth triangles
lips suctorial
pelvics > Ds

Isistius brasiliensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)

Cookiecutter Shark

Body cigar-shaped; head narrow and conical; short, bulbous snout; spiracles present, large, behind eye; no nictitating eyelids; mouth small; lips suctorial, not fringed; teeth in upper and lower jaws different, upper - narrow, needle-like, no cusplets, 31-37 rows, lower - large triangular, not serrated, 25-31 rows; 5 gill slits, all before pectoral; both dorsal fins small, ~equal height, close together (space between them ~twice base of 1st dorsal), near tail fin, space between second dorsal and tail fin base > twice base of second dorsal; no anal fin; pectoral fins angular; pelvic fins larger than dorsal fins; no lateral ridges between pectoral and pelvic fins; no pits on upper tail base; keel on tail base; tail fin large, paddle shaped, nearly symmetrical, lower lobe 2/3 length of top lobe.

Dark brown on top paler below with prominent dark collar around head at level of gill slits; dorsal an pelvic fins with white rear edges; tail fin with dark lobe tips, white rear edge.

Size to 50 cm.

Habitat: Oceanic.

Depth: 0-3700 m.

Scattered locations in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific in tropical and temperate waters; the Bahamas to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathypelagic
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Bony fishes
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Sea snakes/mammals/turtles/birds
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3700