Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Hydrolagus alphus, Whitespot ghost-shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

large eyes
snout blunt
D1 spine passes fin tip
D2 dark, indented center white
tail short
white spot on flank

Hydrolagus alphus Quaranta et al, 2006

Whitespot ghost-shark

Body compressed, elongate, tapering to a filamentous tail; head very large; snout short, round, conical; eyes large (40.8-44.5% head length), bright green; nostrils large, before mouth, connected to outer corner of mouth by a deep groove covered with a flap; mouth under head; teeth are plates, 2 pairs above, 1 pair below; gill opening before pectoral, covered by fleshy operculum; 2 separate dorsal fins; 1st dorsal fin large, triangular, erect, with a long spine at front, that spine attached at or below midpoint of fin, tip extends past fin; 2nd dorsal fin low, long based, its border indented in center; anal fin absent; pectoral fins broad, triangular; pelvic fins broad, triangular; tail relatively short (length from pelvic insertion to upper tail fin origin <57% body length);  tail fin elongate, lance-like, both lobes about equal in height ,with a whip-like rear filament; lateral line canals well developed, on head and body noticeably open; skin smooth, no scales; males with large, multipointed external sex organs.
Color: dark brown body and fins; an indistinct whitish to pale grey blotch on flank behind pectoral fin; paired fins dark, with white outer edges; 2nd dorsal fin with indented section white; white coloration brighter in smaller fish.   
Reaches 61 cm.
Lives  mainly on bottom with a mixture of rocks and sand.
Depth range: 630-1450 m.
Known from the Galapagos and the Gulf of Panama; possibly also Ecuador and Peru.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Benthic
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 61
Depth Range Min
  • 630
Depth Range Max
  • 1450