Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Isistius plutodus, Largetooth Cookiecutter Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

uniform color
snout very short, bulbous
eyes far forwards
Ds at rear, very close, D2 very close to C
C small, lower lobe << top lobe
lower teeth: 17-19 smooth triangles
pelvics < Ds

Isistius plutodus Garrick & Springer, 1964

Largetooth Cookiecutter Shark

Body cigar-shaped; head narrow and conical; very short bulbous snout; spiracles present, large, behind eye; eyes far forward on head; no nictitating eyelids; mouth large; lips suctorial, not fringed; teeth in upper and lower jaws different, upper - narrow, needle-like, no cusplets, 29 rows, lower - very large, triangular, not serrated, 17-19 rows; 5 gill slits, all before pectoral; both dorsal fins small, 2nd heigher, close together (space between them ~same as D1 base), very near tail fin (space between 2nd dorsal and caudal fin ~same as 2nd dorsal base), similar size; space between second dorsal and tailfin base ~equal to second dorsal base; no anal fin; pectorals rounded; pelvic fins smaller than dorsals; no lateral ridges between pectoral and pelvic fins; no pits on upper tail base; keel on tail base; tail fin short, asymmetrical, lower lobe only ~1/2 length of top lobe; terminal notch not present.

Uniform dark brown, lighter under head.

Size: 42 cm.

Habitat: Found over bottom and sometimes near surface over the slopes and trenches.

Depth: 60-200 m.

W Atlantic and NW Pacific; the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathypelagic
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Bony fishes
  • Sea snakes/mammals/turtles/birds
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Atlantic + Pacific Oceans
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 42
Depth Range Min
  • 60
Depth Range Max
  • 200