Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Etmopterus hillianus, Blackbelly Lantern Shark, Caribbean Lantern Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head flattened
white stripe between Ds
D1 origin just behind pectoral free rear tip
denticles pointed, not in rows
black marks lower body: prominent
no black blotches under tail

Etmopterus hillianus (Poey, 1861)

Caribbean Lantern Shark, Blackbelly Lantern Shark

Body stout; head and snout flattened; no nictitating eyelids; spiracle large, behind eye; mouth short, at acute angle; upper teeth with a large central point plus usually <3 smaller points on each side, 24-26 rows, lower teeth compressed and blade-like, with small, oblique tips, 36-38 rows; five gill slits, all before pectoral base, very short; two dorsal fins, second larger (but <2X area of 1st), both with long thick grooved spines, 2nd spine larger; first dorsal with origin just behind free rear tips of pectorals, fin much nearer pectoral fin axil than origin of pelvics; space between dorsal fins ~distance between snout tip & 3rd gill slit; pectorals triangular; no anal fin; no ridges between pectoral and pelvic fins, no precaudal pits, no keel on tail base; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, notch at top, relatively short (top margin length ~snout tip to pectoral origin); fins without rear fringes; denticles cover snout; flank denticles with slender, hooked points, dense, not in longitudinal rows.

Head and body grey to dark brown above, black below; a pale yellow spot between eyes; elongate black mark above & behind pelvics is not divided; middle of back from nape to tail fin base with a white stripe with a central black line or row of black dots.

Size: 29.5 cm.

Habitat: Outer continental shelf and upper slopes

Depth: 180-717 m.

Virginia to the Lesser Antilles.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 29.5
Depth Range Min
  • 180
Depth Range Max
  • 717